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Food Inc.

March 30, 2009

Sunday. Movies. I know I mentioned this ever so briefly.

The Philadelphia Film Fest/Cinefest is here! Ha za!

Just in time for a hail storm/apocalypse, the boy and I wandered our way over to The Prince for a Philm Phest double feature.

Flick 1: Food Inc.

How much do we really know about the food we buy at our local supermarkets and serve to our families? And how much do we really want to?

Um. Not this much. Hysterical how this movie stared just in time for dinner (5p) and I wasn’t hungry for the rest of the night (that’s a lie..even watching the formerly untold perils of a hideous food industry, I still left the theater thinking about food – albeit, organic, grass fed, hormone free food).

This movie really was awesome – horrifyingly awesome – in the “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, but what a great interview technique!”

In particular, I loved the interviews with Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma) and Stonyfield Farm’s Gary Hirshberg and Polyface Farms’ Joel Salatin. And I loved that most of their suggestions are things I’ve been force-feeding the boy for years (buying local, supporting farmers markets, buying organic-grassfed-hormone/antibiotic free). The boy’s let was bruised from me smacking him in a “see-I-told-you-so” fashion.

Flick 2: Hunger

This is the story of Bobby Sands: 27, Irish Republican Army volunteer who Hunger Strike-d himself to death in 1981 trying to get himself and other Irish Republican inmates’ status as political prisoners.

It’s also about smearing poop on the prison walls (literally) and the act of life in this situation, and the strength of conviction (and possibly stupidity, as they were hunger striking without willingness to negotiate and without the support of the IRA).

This is not a happy movie. It’s not easy to watch. And Steve McQueen made it incredibly uncomfortable with overdrawn shots and a slow pace that I’m guessing was meant to mirror the monotony of prison life. This is not a movie that offers escapism. This movie is a prison. It took Sands 66 days to die, and McQueen relays the long, excruciating reality of the experience – how quickly a body will deteriorate without food, but still take so very long to die. The closest thing I will ever experience to a hunger strike was watching this movie. Bleh.

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