In his recently Oscar-nominated documentary feature, Robert Kenner follows a successful formula for muckraking-advocacy docs: Inform, entertain, alarm, then offer a shred of hope. Largely recapitulating the work of Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation) and Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma)—both of whom get prominent screen time here—Kenner explores a worldwide food system that has grown increasingly consolidated. He delves into the risks of factory farming, the omnipresence of corn, and policy decisions that have simultaneously crippled government oversight ability and subsidized a lifestyle that’s killing us.
Little of it will be new information to those already familiar with Schlosser and Pollan, but Kenner proves savvy at mixing his data with stories of the human cost, and glimpses of a way for consumers to vote with their wallets—and ballots—against corporate food. It may not be groundbreaking, but it’s certainly comprehensive.