If audiences allow director Deborah Koons Garcia to have her way, The Future of Food will do to agricultural giant Monsanto what Bowling to Columbine did to Lockheed Martin. Sans snark and grandstanding, Garcia catalogs horror after horror about corporate complicity in the demise of family farming in this country and the starvation of people all over the world. There’s almost too many links to take in here at once, but there isn’t a single dull moment in this shocking cine-essay, which feels like an offshoot of last year’s The Corporation. Joel Bakan and Harold Crooks’s doc explained how the Bechtel Corporation, a lapdog of the Reagan and Bush administrations (and a major player in the reconstruction of Iraq), once tried to patent water in Bolivia so it could be sold back to the dirt-poor masses. In Future of Food, Garcia lays out the chilling diligence with which companies like Monsanto, whose employees hold crucial positions of power in Bush II’s administration, have sought to patent living organisms, in this case the seeds farmers have been cultivating for centuries all over the world. In their mad pursuit of money and notoriety, these corporations hope to bring genetically engineered food to the people with little-to-no regulations and absolutely no labels to indicate what we’re really putting in our mouths. Their one-track mind follows a simple logic: if they control the seed they control the plant, and if there isn’t a label on the product then there isn’t anyone to blame if someone gets sick. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg, because Garcia’s exposé isn’t just about corporate malfeasance but genetically engineered food as a global terror. With impressive level-headedness, she documents the struggle other countries like Mexico face every day in order to prevent our genetically modified food from crossing into their homelands. Nature has its logic and it’s one that Garcia defends with sobering integrity, and though her film’s PBS-style presentation won’t win her any fans, that she so powerfully defends her position without a lick of Moore’s righteous indignation makes her the more effective investigative reporter.
- Cinema Libre Studio
- 88 min
- Deborah Koons Garcia
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