“They Were There” — Errol Morris Finally Directs a Film for IBM

In the late 1990s, Errol Mor­ris, the acclaimed direc­tor, was hired to make a film for an “in house” con­fer­ence of IBM employ­ees. Even­tu­al­ly IBM can­celed the con­fer­ence, and the film was scrapped. (Watch a clip of it here.) Now more than a decade lat­er, IBM has brought Mor­ris back, this time to direct a film meant to com­mem­o­rate the 100th anniver­sary of the com­pa­ny’s found­ing. The 30-minute film, They Were There, appears on IBM’s YouTube Chan­nel, and it notably fea­tures music by Philip Glass. As you will per­haps recall, Mor­ris and Glass pre­vi­ous­ly teamed up on the 2003 Oscar-win­ning doc­u­men­tary, The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNa­ma­ra. Both films are list­ed in our col­lec­tion, 4,000+ Free Movies Online: Great Clas­sics, Indies, Noir, West­erns, Doc­u­men­taries & More.

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Relat­ed Con­tent:

Novem­ber 22, 1963: Watch Errol Mor­ris’ Short Doc­u­men­tary About the Kennedy Assas­si­na­tion

Film­mak­er Errol Mor­ris Gives Us “11 Excel­lent Rea­sons Not to Vote?”

Errol Mor­ris Med­i­tates on the Mean­ing and His­to­ry of Abra­ham Lincoln’s Last Pho­to­graph

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  • Robert Byers says:

    It was inter­est­ing but not well done.
    I found offen­sive the part where the Black man was say­ing there was no dis­crim­i­na­tion in IBM and he was going on about the south and then BANG he says IBM looks for smart/great peo­ple in oth­er cul­tures.
    This is clas­sic code for affir­ma­tive action on behalf of unsuc­cess­ful iden­ti­ty groups, like blacks, and women .
    In short they dis­crim­i­nate .
    in fact the good jobs at IBM belong to the Amer­i­can peo­ple or cit­i­zens with­out any inter­fer­ence based on iden­ti­ty in get­ting those posi­tions.
    They are hir­ing based on iden­ti­ty and not regard­less of it.
    This is immoral and ille­gal.
    fur­ther they hire for­eign­ers who don’t deserve Amer­i­can jobs in the first place of any type.
    There is oth­er issues about iden­ti­ty and who gets what.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.