Food Inc. is a gut-wrenching film about the American food production and distribution industry. Robert Kenner, the filmmaker, follows the plight of farmers as mean methods of agriculture are implemented. Also, the film relays the story of Barbara Kowalcyk, whose son died from contracting E. coli from tainted hamburger meat. The main characters of the film include authors Eric Schlosser and Michael Pollan, farmers Carole Morison and Vince Edwards, mother and advocate Kowalcyk, Troy Roush of the American Corn Growers Association, and various other persons who were able to create the film that Kenner made.
Personally, I felt as though the film was hard-hitting and made a valiant effort to prove a rather unknown point. The film utilized many elements of persuasion to appeal to every member of its audience. It used a personal, emotional story of Kowalcyk’s son to generate a response from the compassionate, relayed legal and factual evidence for the logical, and anecdotes from farmers who have worked for decades for credibility. For me, these elements compose a truly moving film. I also appreciated the way in which the filmmaker included many raw, barely edited shots of gruesome tactics used in the food industry. Even though they were hard to watch, these scenes provided the necessary insight into the atrocities that occur the world of food production.
There were various narrative arcs in this film. Firstly, the fight between the farmers and the larger corporations provided the basis for major plot development. The filmmaker hoped for audiences to be hooked onto this battle. Personally, I wished that the small farmers, whose businesses were being out-shadowed by the domineering Perdue, Tyson, Monsanto, etc., would have been able to gain more from their efforts against these corporations. Secondly, the film followed the narrative arc of Barbara Kowalcyk and her will to avenge her son’s death. Her legal battles and ambition provided another narrative arc. Lastly, the over-arching narrative of the film was that of the process by which food gets to every table in America and discovering each step on that journey.