Socialist Worker

Chants, crashes and a dot.com

by Matthew Cookson
Issue No. 1767

KALEIL AND Tom are best friends from high school. Together they decide to set up an internet company to make money out of local government. Although it doesn't sound the most exciting story, Startup.com is a fascinating and funny film.

This fly on the wall documentary by Chris Hegedus and Jehane Noujaim shows the reality behind the madness of the internet economy craze. They raise millions of dollars from numerous investment bankers. Even before the website is launched Kaleil is appearing in newspapers and is interviewed on TV as the next big internet entrepreneur.

President Bill Clinton introduces him in a White House discussion on the 'new economy'. To reciprocate Kaleil offers him a place on the company's board! Kaleil and Tom are new age capitalists. They keep hugging and saying they love one another. They meditate, take their employees to nature camps and lead the company chant.

But as the company crashes around them things get tense. Kaleil sacks Tom, has him escorted from the building and later leads a chant in his honour. Because Startup.com is a real life documentary it draws you in, despite the awfulness of both Tom and Kaleil, and makes you unable to stop watching.


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Reviews
Sat 22 Sep 2001, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1767
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