After seeing this documentary in 2009 when it came out in theaters, I can honestly say I have never thought of food in the same way. The film covers the topic of corporate farming in America and all the secrets within this huge powerful monopoly. Every aspect of the agricultural business is examined and it contains amazing footage of the truth behind what we see on store shelves. I’ve seen many different types of food investigation videos but this film just really stuck with me.
It’s a challenge for a documentary to gain attention and interest from the audience but I think Food, Inc. did an outstanding job of being informative not in a dull way, and shocking but not in a frightful way. The issues that are discussed in this film are major problems our country is facing and they’re ugly issues but this film covers it in such a graceful way. They used appropriate research and interviews, visuals and animations, and most of all this film is easy to understand… the narration is done in a way that it feels like a concerned friend is talking to you about these topics. For example, when they visit small local farmers or families living in middle America- the interviews are done in such a way that you feel engaged with these people… almost attached to them. You sympathize for the animals in danger, and the workers of these factory farms- within the first 10 minutes of the film. It cuts to animation sequences periodically to help you digest (no pun intended) all the facts given to you. When you see a cartoon cow going down a conveyor belt it helps you not feel so panicked as you do when you watch a real video of it happening. I also appreciated at the end of the film they give you solutions and they inspire you to change. It’s not a documentary saying “Here’s the facts, hope you’re depressed now, thanks for watching!”. It’s trying to empower the audiences to take action and I respected that the film made that a priority.
Participant Media funded the film and it’s gross revenue ended up being $4,606,199. Many fees from the budget went to legal payments from companies that were being used in the film. Food, Inc. was shown as a trailer at the True/False Film Festival in Columbia, Missouri in February 2009 and then it went on to screen in many film festivals. Then it opened up commercially in the U.S. and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary.
This documentary is probably one of the best I have ever seen because it unveiled such unbelievable information about a system that I have always trusted my whole life. I was hanging off the edge of my seat and at certain moments I just had to cover my mouth because I was yelling at the screen “No!…No way!”. The information stays with you and so do the people you meet in the film and I also think that’s whats important because you need people to continually talk about this film as time goes on. One critic wrote, “Food, Inc. does for the supermarket what Jaws did for the beach.”