6.6/10
147
6 user 13 critic

Food Beware: The French Organic Revolution (2008)

Nos enfants nous accuseront (original title)
TV-G | | Documentary | 16 October 2009 (USA)
For the first time ever, our children are growing up less healthy than we are. As the rate of cancer, infertility and other illnesses linked to environmental factors climbs upward each year, we must ask ourselves: why is this happening?

Director:

Jean-Paul Jaud

Writer:

Jean-Paul Jaud (screenplay)

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

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Cast

Credited cast:
Perico Légasse Perico Légasse ... Himself
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Storyline

Food Beware begins with a visit to a small village in France, where the town's mayor has decided to make the school lunch menu organic and locally grown. It then talks to a wide variety of people with differing perspectives to find common ground - children, parents, teachers, health care workers, farmers, elected officials, scientists, researchers and the victims of illnesses themselves. Revealed in these moving and often surprising conversations are the abuses of the food industry, the competing interests of agribusiness and public health, the challenges and rewards of safe food production, and the practical, sustainable solutions that we can all take part in. Food Beware is food for thought - and a blueprint for a growing revolution. Written by FRF

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The French Organic Revolution

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

TV-G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | English

Release Date:

16 October 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Food Beware: The French Organic Revolution See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$595, 18 October 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$595, 18 October 2009
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Company Credits

Production Co:

J B Séquences See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in Zéro phyto 100% bio (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fails to convince, far too long.
7 December 2015 | by PlumskiSee all my reviews

There is an interesting film to be made about this subject, perhaps even a great one, but this isn't it.

It throws out random facts and assumptions like confetti but fails to connect any of them, and none of them are made to stick.

Do we all eat too much processed food? Sure. Do kids in particular nowadays eat far to much food of dubious nutritional value? Sure. Has there been an increase in incidences of various illnesses, in particular cancer, over recent decades? Sure. Is the French countryside beautiful? Definitely. Are kids cute? Most of the time. Are these facts *connected* in any kind of causal relationship? Unsure. Does this film provide any evidence at all that they are connected? Nope, not even slightly. Is the only answer to all these questions organic farming? Not based on any of the material suggested here.

This film wants to do for conventional modern mass farming what Supersize Me did for fast food. But unlike Morgan Spurlock in that film, Jaud is lacking a central idea, a basic structural model with a clear end, to hold everything together. The fact that the village has already decided to have the communal kitchens go organic is not inherently strong enough.

I would have liked to see - or learn about - an earlier period, the battles the mayor had to go through to convince his town council, parents and others that going organic was a good idea and a worthwhile experiment. Instead we are shown the (limited) effect of the decision on the elementary school children and their new vegetable garden, and the kids learning Yannick Noah's environmental anthem "Aux arbres citoyens" and performing it at the village summer fête complete with rather alarming fist-waving.

We learn nothing of the kids' home lives - in particular, were the benefits of their organic lunch being undone by what they ate at home? At the little survey towards the end of the year covered by the film, it's clear that only a small minority of the kids have organic meals at home. That said, apart from one grumpy looking boy, the children all embrace their new organic school meals with wild enthusiasm - especially one little girl who appears over and again as the project's flag waver. I was left wondering just whose child she is.

One other thing bothers me. The film opens with scenes from a conference held at UNESCO in Paris, clips from whose alarmist presentations punctuate the pictures of village life through the rest of the film. Judging by other reviews I have read here and elsewhere, the audience has always assumed this to be an official UN event, an assumption the film readily invites. It was actually organised by a collection of NGOs led by ARTAC, a French campaigning group devoted to investigating environmental causes of cancers, which was the guiding force behind the Paris Appeal from 2004 calling for the banning of cancer-inducing chemicals. See more at artac.info.

All of this is very worthy, but the film does not actually substantiate any claim that the products used in non-organic farming (and in particular the ones shown in the film) do irrefutably cause cancer, and so the relevance of the conference is somewhat questionable.

The film is also much too long and includes extended sequences of no value whatsoever to the subject, in particular scenes of the kids' idyllic life in the fields. As a half hour item on a TV documentary strand it would have been worthy of my time and attention, but as a feature film? No thanks. I felt my time was wasted.


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