Saturday, June 20, 2009

Two Documentaries to Look Out For

For folks who are interested in the politics of food and agri-business, as well as homesteading, you will definitely want to check out these two documentaries!

First up is Food, Inc. (if you are familiar with the title, then you may have already read the book). Here is a small blurb about the movie from the website:

In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government's regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation's food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, insecticide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won't go bad, but we also have new strains of E. coli—the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. We are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults.

Featuring interviews with such experts as Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto) along with forward thinking social entrepreneurs like Stonyfield's Gary Hirshberg and Polyface Farms' Joel Salatin, Food, Inc. reveals surprising—and often shocking truths—about what we eat, how it's produced, who we have become as a nation and where we are going from here.

You can view the trailer below.

Next is Homegrown Revolution, which is a documentary made by the folks at Path to Freedom. And here is a small blurb about the movie and an introductory disclaimer from the website:

In the midst of densely urban downtown Pasadena, radical change is taking root. For over twenty years, the Dervaes family has been transforming their home into an urban homestead. They harvest three tons of organic food annually from their 1/10 acre garden, while incorporating back-to-basics practices, solar energy and biodiesel.

The original version of Homegrown Revolution was made in three days for a lecture Jules Dervaes gave at the University of California Los Angeles in October 2007 on the topic of Slow Food. It received a wildly enthusiastic response from the students and, subsequently, attracted an avid following on YouTube, with over 135,000 views to date.
This is a simple film short that introduces the Dervaes Family Urban Homestead. Please note this is NOT feature-length. This short film might be best grouped with other films or part of a community event / gardening club / meetings, etc. RUNTIME: 15:44.

Below is the trailer:

Homegrown Revolution (Trailer) from Path to Freedom on Vimeo.




Anonymous said...

food inc looks really good. thanx for the lead.

Hertha said...

I agree, that movie does look great. Have you watched these movies Laurel?

perma_culture said...

It seems like theres many docs about food coming out. I love it X^D Path to Freedom is so inspiring!

nefaeria said...

Hertha, I have not seen either of these two movies. I read Food, Inc. (a fantastic book) and have watched the original Homegrown (which was also fantastic).

perma_culture said...

I just purchased the book two days ago. Thank you for the review =^)

bek said...

Yeah looks like a good watch, thanks!
Has anyone seen The Future of Food? I found that utterly soul destroying to watch, even though I already knew most of it. Ideas were certainly reinforced!
In complete contrast, The Power of Community, about how Cuba survived it's economic collapse is one of my favourite inspiring and uplifting docs.

nefaeria said...

Permie: Please let me know what you think of the book! :)

bek: I was able to watch both of them because they are online (the net has got to be good for something!). I agree with you, one movie approaches the topic to wake people up, and the other one provides indepth solutions.

You see this quite a bit, and while it is important to help make people aware, you need to also come up with solutions.

This is why I love the whole concept and movement of Permaculture: it is acknowledged that there is something quite fucked up happening, and it show many (flexible!) ways on how we can make things better.

I have seen a 'dooms-dayer' or two within Permaculture, but by and large it is a hopeful movement. :)