June is Food Documentary Month: End of the Line, Food, Inc., Fresh, the NYC Food Film Festival
Forget summer action blockbusters, nothing beats the heat like a food documentary, and three of them are headed your way in June:
- End of the Line, about the perils of overfishing, opens June 19th in New York City and Los Angeles (June 8th in the UK), and then spreads out from there.
- Food, Inc., about the dangers of modern industrial food production, opens June 12th in New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
- Fresh follows the lives of farmers "who are re-inventing our food system," with no national release, although it is doing the documentary circuit.
Oddly, both Food, Inc. and Fresh feature Joel Salatin, the farmer profiled in Michael Pollan's Omnivore’s Dilemma, with Pollan appearing in both films as well. While both films are more gloom-and-doom than anything else, Food, Inc. takes the more serious, scaremongering tone (it posits itself as the An Inconvenient Truth of food), while Fresh is a little more positive, focusing on people fighting the good fight. We're most interested in End of the Line, as it deals with a topic that hasn't been beaten to death (yet), namely, the looming death of the world's oceans.
We'd also be remiss not to mention Third Annual NYC Food Film Festival coming up June 13 – June 19, 2009, that dubs itself as a festival of "celebration of food, film, and people." Plus, you get to eat the food that's featured in the films.
End of the Line
End of the Line is a documentary that proclaims to be the "world’s first major documentary about the devastating effect of overfishing." The film, based on the book of the same name, follows the journalist Charles Clover as he confronts politicians and celebrity restaurateurs and examines "the imminent extinction of bluefin tuna, brought on by increasing western demand for sushi... and the profound implications of a future world with no fish that would bring certain mass starvation." Scary stuff!
Trailer for End of the Line
You can also see more video clips on the movie's YouTube page.
Food, Inc. features lines such as "The industry doesn't want you to know the truth." Definitely not the feel-good movie of the summer. Industrial farming, obesity, food-borne epidemics, evil corporations and the sympathetic farmers who buck the system, along with the polemics of Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser who serve as talking heads. Nothing you haven't heard before, but the goal presumably is to spread the word.
Trailer for Food, Inc.
Not to be confused with the 1994 film with Samuel L. Jackson of the same name or the recently-released book Fresh: A Perishable History by Susanne Freidberg, Fresh or FRESH the movie as it's sometimes called, offers "new thinking about what we're eating." Not in general release, you'll have to track down upcoming screenings that include California, Wisconsin, and Colorado.
Trailer for Fresh
2009 NYC Food Film Festival
This year's NYC Food Film Festival goes down June 13 – June 19, 2009 in New York City with screenings at the Water Taxi Beach in Long Island City, The Astor Center, Manhattan, and at the new South Street Seaport Water Taxi location. Featuring over over 25 short films about food, the festival is where "filmgoers are able to watch food films then sample the food portrayed in those films."