War and complete social and economic collapse dominate the radar, but it seems we are uniquely blind to the concussive explosions on the screen. Vice President Al Gore waved the red flag for the environment in An Inconvenient Truth and was able to rip through the cultural blanket veiling our senses — although it took him over a decade when you consider that he wrote Earth in the Balance before he became President Clinton’s running mate.
It makes me wonder how effective Robert Kenner’s new documentary, Food, Inc., will be because Kenner sets his sights on the Industrial Food System, which like the Industrial Military Complex, has not just a global reach in terms of the capitalization of food but also a devastating impact on a matrix of issues ranging from the health of the planet and its inhabitants to warfare.
While systematically investigating the development and refinement of food production, Kenner seamlessly weaves several personal narratives into his argument, but he cannily uses images of the process to create a sense of foreboding that might seem familiar to audiences. The visuals are in keeping with oppression and the totalitarian futurescapes.
Will that excite us and goad us into action when facts, which are far more threatening than the cause for immediate alarm, merely make us hungry for more of what ails us? Food, Inc. proposes that we might be experiencing not just financial ruins but also a march through the factory doors towards extinction. Kenner’s film is a raw and smart clarion call to action. Grade: A