King Corn is a feature documentary about two friends, one acre of corn, and the subsidized crop that drives our fast-food nation. In King Corn, Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis, best friends from ... See full summary »
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King Corn is a feature documentary about two friends, one acre of corn, and the subsidized crop that drives our fast-food nation. In King Corn, Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis, best friends from college on the east coast, move to the heartland to learn where their food comes from. With the help of friendly neighbors, genetically modified seeds, and powerful herbicides, they plant and grow a bumper crop of America's most-productive, most-subsidized grain on one acre of Iowa soil. But when they try to follow their pile of corn into the food system, what they find raises troubling questions about how we eat-and how we farm Written by
If you're standing in a field in Iowa, there's an immense amount of food being grown, none of it edible. The commodity corn... nobody can eat it. It must be processed before we can eat it. It's a raw material, it's a feed-stock for all these other processes. And the irony is that an Iowa farmer can no longer feed himself.
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College buddies return to a place called Greene in Iowa which was their ancestral home. This is a disturbing documentary but handled with intelligence and warmth. Basically it deals with the fact that because we are all demanding cheap food we are prepared to ignore the enormous health and environmental repercussions of over production. The issue is handled brilliantly and it will be easy to see how the film makers will be (wrongly) accused of exaggeration. Just like climate skeptics today these guys will be accused of scare mongering. That's the sad reality. The film makers however have been fair and balanced. What's wrong with corn? Essentially nothing but the corn is being fed to cattle. This is where it gets very disturbing. Its clever how the industry has used the term "grain fed" as a positive. What is disturbing is the corn produced is nothing like the juicy variety we like smothered in butter, indeed it is almost inedible! The corn is fed to cattle. It gets worse. To help the cattle avoid disease there are anti biotics added to the corn.The potential dangers here are too horrible to think about.The humanitarian aspects of modern family are another issue but you will find the film disturbing. I had a look in my pantry and was shocked to see just how much corn syrup is used. We have a right to know what we are eating and King Corn is a revelation but not a very comforting one. I could speak more about the issue itself but others have done that. It is scary and it makes me think of the field of dreams as a field of nightmares and I doubt Elvira Madigan will be running through corn fields in America. The documentary itself is rational without being cloyingly provocative. No preaching and no bad guys. The directors treat the farmers as victims as well. The people in the film are just lovely. They are hard working Americans trapped in an unethical industry. We, the consumers, are the real culprits; our demand to keep food cheap has led us to a diet which causes diabetes and other health scares. The film must be seen and its got the zappiest cleverest little ending. Sadly a limited audience will see this. It wont be on main stream TV, indeed I only saw it as it was recommended by a friend. One thing is for certain is if is shown on television it will not be sponsored by any fast food chains.
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