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A democracy should protect its citizens, especially the most vulnerable among them, but the United States is increasingly failing to do so. This investigative documentary blends the insights of journalists and policy experts with the experiences of citizens of the Rust Belt, where the steel industry once flourished, but where closures and outsourcing have left it desolate and hopeless: a crisis exacerbated by income inequality and squabbling politicians. It is here that Donald Trump finds some of his most fervent supporters.

Some believe the crisis predates Trump's election by many years: Trump is a symptom, not the disease. They say that decades ago, U.S. democracy began selling its soul to big corporations, whose lobbyists and favored politicians took control in Washington, gradually undermining the will of the people. Naomi Klein recently described Trump's administration as a 'corporate coup d'état', but Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges and philosopher John Ralston Saul, among others, argue that the real coup started long before.

Threaded through the film are the stories of the ultimate victims: the working class and poor people in 'sacrifice zones' like Camden, New Jersey and Youngstown, Ohio. Many of them voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012, but in 2016 - feeling abandoned by the elites of both parties - they cast their ballot for the man who promised to "drain the swamp."

Featuring journalists including Chris Hedges, Phillip Martin, Sarah Jaffe, Matt Taibbi and Lee Fang, and thinkers John Ralston Saul and Cornel West, The Corporate Coup d'État is directed by Fred Peabody and produced by Peter Raymont, the team behind All Governments Lie: Truth, Deception, and the Spirit of I.F. Stone.