An examination of our dietary choices and the food we put in our bodies. Based on Jonathan Safran Foer's memoir.An examination of our dietary choices and the food we put in our bodies. Based on Jonathan Safran Foer's memoir.An examination of our dietary choices and the food we put in our bodies. Based on Jonathan Safran Foer's memoir.
A feature-length documentary adapted from the critically acclaimed 2009 novel, of the same name (which was also a New York Times best-seller), by Jonathan Safran Foer. The film examines what has happened to our food industry in the last 40-years, as we've transitioned from traditional farming to huge industrial farms. The book was written as an effort for Foer to decide whether his newborn child should eat meat or not. The film was written and directed by Christopher Dillon Quinn, and it's narrated and produced by Oscar winning actress (and filmmaker) Natalie Portman. The documentary had it's world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival last September, where it received a standing ovation. I saw it at a film festival in Portland, followed by a Q&A with the director there. I definitely had severely mixed feelings about the film.
The movie examines what has happened to our food industry over the last forty years, as it's transitioned from traditional farming to massive factory farms. The filmmakers interview multiple farmers, and question them on how this change has affected them (many have been left in financial ruins). It also shows us (through undercover footage primarily) the horrific treatment of animals as a result. Portman also beautifully narrates the film, throughout, as well.
I saw the movie with a group of vegan 'animal rights' activist friends, and they were pretty upset by the overall message of the film. They feel that it promotes the myth of 'humanely' raised meat and dairy, and it encourages a transition back to more traditional farming, rather than veganism. I didn't feel that was the overall message (from my biased point of view) when I first watched it, but I can definitely see why they feel that way. I still saw it as a movie which primarily promotes veganism. There's a lot of important educational information in it, including lots of animal abuse footage, and it definitely (without a doubt) paints factory farming in a very negative and horrific light. The film has a lot of flaws still though (obviously), and it's certainly far from a great movie.
- Mar 1, 2018