Skip to content

TagRory Kennedy

Sundance: Downfall: The Case Against Boeing

“This is the cost of doing business as usual.”

Garima Sehti

Directed by Rory Kennedy, Downfall: The Case Against Boeing is a scathing look at how corporate greed led to the deaths of hundreds of 737 Max passengers.

In October 2018, Lion Air Flight 610 departed from Jakarta only to crash 13 minutes after take off. The plane was a new 737 Max from Boeing, a redesigned and more fuel-efficient plane that was launched a few years earlier. At first aviation experts thought that the crash was due to pilot error. But it was soon discovered that it was a flaw with the MCAS system, which had been added to the 737 Max. However, pilots were not only not trained on the new system, they had no clue it even existed or let alone what to do if it malfunctioned. Several months later, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed in a similar fashion, only 6 minutes after takeoff, killing everyone on board. The two mass casualties, so close together and both with 737 Max airplanes sent the world reeling. 

Downfall is an incredible work of investigative journalism. Every facet of this story is explored including the crashes themselves, the aftermath, the effect on the victims’ families, the congressional investigation and the recent problematic history of Boeing which led those in power at the company to value financial results over safety. Talking heads include victims’ family members, aviation experts (including Captain Sully, politicians, former Boeing employees.

The subject matter is very upsetting but it is a must watch. 

Note: Boeing did not participate in the documentary but they did share a written response which appears before the end credits.

Downfall: The Case Against Boeing had its world premiere at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. It premieres on Netflix February 18th.