A new doc explores the rise of Jeff Bezos and Amazon’s world domination

Wonder if it’ll be available on Prime.

by Roisin Lanigan
20 February 2020, 11:06am

Image via Getty

It’s hard to imagine an era when Jeff Bezos -- billionaire, King of Amazon, extremely muscular Tommy Pickles lookalike -- did not control how we shop. There was a time when we did things like go to malls (???) or simply waited up to five working days for things to be shipped from online marketplaces (???). But then the convenience of Amazon, in particular Amazon Prime, swept that prehistoric era away. Now, a new documentary explores how it happened, with a particularly close look at the man behind it all.

The documentary, from PBS, is titled Amazon Empire: The Rise and Reign of Jeff Bezos. It explores the inner workings of the global empire that Amazon has become since its inception in 1994 as a humble online book marketplace. It also charts the simultaneous transformation of Jeff Bezos from nerdy tech entrepreneur to richest buff man in the world.

Amazon Empire is one film forming part of a new docuseries line from PBS, Frontline. The series previously investigated fellow tech juggernaut Facebook. Available online as of Tuesday, this latest instalment is a two-hour in-depth look at the ethical dilemmas surrounding Amazon’s marketplace monopoly, privacy and data concerns (I can’t be the only one who’s worried Alexa is listening to me all the time), and the dubious workplace environment for employees in their warehouses.

While the man behind Amazon does not appear for an interview in the show, plenty of previous employees and executives who have worked with Bezos appear on screen to share their own insights into his company’s seemingly unstoppable trajectory.

Check out the trailer here, and watch the full thing online on the PBS website. Beware, it may cause you to seriously reconsider your Prime dependency.

jeff bezos