Coming To Theaters This Summer: Food

Don’t want to go the whole blow-‘em-up blockbuster movie route this summer? That makes two of us. Well, word on the street is that there’s a bumper crop of new documentaries hitting the big screen, the festival circuit and DVD aisle examining America’s food system this summer. If you’re looking for this August’s version of “No Reservations,” these movies ain’t it. The filmmakers are more intent on showing us just how disgusting eating has become. Think “Fast Food Nation” and the Humane Society’s debbie-downer cow video. An obvious suggestion would be to eat dinner before heading to the theater, as I’m pretty sure you won’t want to stuff your face after. Here’s the sampler:

  • “Food, Inc.”
    It’s a short (almost): Director Robert Kenner manages to depict what’s wrong with the food system in 93 minutes with the help of authors and food-vets Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser. Devastating personal stories, including one about a mother who lost her 2-year-old son because of an E. coli-contaminated hamburger, foster a decidedly non-cute-and-fuzzy tone when it comes to the big-business food-system. (FYI: It’s out in select cities June 12)
  • “The End of the Line”
    The first major documentary about overfishing, it follows politicians, a tuna farmer-turned-whistleblower, and restaurateurs. Expect lots of dark-side nosing around. (Note: Out June 19, limited theaters)
  • “Killer at Large”
    Film producer Bryan Young, who lost 40 pounds making the documentary, tackles the hows of obesity—specifically why a poorly managed food policy is partly to blame. The film depicts a 12-year old girl getting a liposuction (yes, really) and tries to get at the root of why some of us humans seek out fatty, high energy (aka calorie) foods. Bonus! Ralph Nader, everyones Green Party guy, has a cameo. (Out now on DVD)
  • “FRESH The Movie”
    This one is a little less scaremonger-y and a little more funny than the rest. It’s based on a a clip where sustainable farmer and general food guru, Joel Salatin, compares chemical agriculture to a drug trip—and it talks about the baby steps we can all take toward healthier, less franken-chicken fare. If you are looking for a dose of positivity, check this movie out. (It’s on the film festival circuit now.)