A young Japanese scout is sent by some corporation to research the amusement park industry in the USA. Meanwhile another woman, a working-class cleaner, survives on the fringes of corporate society - she eats, sleeps and basically lives in a motel or shopping mall. Both women find themselves in the middle of American or rather global nowhere and both feel desolated there.
Chain shows a contemporary world as a deserted corporate landscape that consists of different non-places - hotels, motels, malls, fast-food restaurants, gas stations, airports, theme parks - which are the same everywhere. These global chains are impersonal and reduce an individual to an anonymous worker or consumer who becomes just a function of this machine. Focusing on the existential side of the process, Jem Cohen makes a disturbing and absolutely hypnotic study of contemporary alienation, solitude and non-existence.