Best Movies of All Time + [Robert Kenner]

FOOD, INC.

FOOD, INC.

Food, Inc. is a 2009 Oscar-nominated documentary directed by Robert Kenner. To quote the synposis on Wikipedia - because I can't think of a better way to organize it in my own words - the film "examines corporate farming in the United States, concluding that agribusiness produces food that is unhealthy in a way that is environmentally harmful and abusive of both animals and employees." The movie is divided into a number of personal segments, but they all fall into the following three overarching concepts: the inhumanity of industrial meat production; the instability of industrial production of corn and other vegetables; and a look at the legal and economic issues that circle this issue in its entirety.

I've been meaning to watch this film for probably a year now, but some recent incidences in my own life led me to finally give the film a shot. Those of you who know me personally will know that I gave up meat for Lent (the Christian time of preparation for Easter), spending six-and-a-half weeks without consuming it in any way. As you know, yesterday was Easter, meaning it was the first day I could once again eat meat. My dad, a huge proponent of eating red meat, decided to buy me a steak, much to my reluctance. I had heard that returning to meat after such a long stay away could prove a little sickening, so I only allowed myself to eat a small portion of the disgusting-looking slab that sat on my plate. As of this morning, I'm still feeling my stomach's anger, and I feel so terrible right now that I'm contemplating returning to a no-meat diet. So it seemed like the perfect moment to watch Food, Inc. because I thought it could help me with my ultimate decision.

That drive to watch this film might account for my relatively lukewarm feelings towards it. Perhaps I was hoping for it to be a bit of a shock-fest that would scare me away from the steaming meat market once again. Considering the film's tagline reads, "You'll never look at dinner the same way," you can probably understand why I thought it might be the life-changer. However, Food, Inc. chooses to tell us about the horrors rather than show us. Yeah, there's a couple of moments that'll have animal lovers cringing a little bit, but you can easily find much more shocking videos on YouTube. While this should prove to be just as effective, I found myself shifting in and out of attentiveness because the film simply never grabbed hold of me. It does bring a number of personal stories with everyday Americans that prove to be the best moments in the film, but aside from that, I just couldn't allow myself to remain interested in everything they were saying.

That being said, I'm sure this is a documentary that everyone should see. I definitely learned a lot from the film, and that's the biggest goal of documentaries: to teach and inform. In that sense, it's a success, and given it's Academy Award nomination, you can be sure that you'll be getting your bang for your buck. I just wish it could've hooked me a little bit more, but every film affects everyone in a different way. Perhaps you'll get more out of it than I did.

Movie Review Summary:
Grade: B-
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Addition to Awards
2009: Best Documentary nominee