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4.5 out of 5 stars
Hungry for Change
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129 of 142 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2013
I'm conflicted about this a bit. The first half of this documentary seemed fairly solid, but the latter half went off the rails a bit for me. This documentary somehow featured a subplot about some woman who felt chubby (but didn't appear so, to me) and insecure, until she started juicing vegetables. The weirdest point was easily when this woman fired up her iPad to watch the documentary I was already watching. I giggled a little bit, thinking she was going to be pretty pissed when she got to the part where they'd been filming her without her knowledge.

I thought it was interesting that the documentary mentioned the addictive properties of modern, processed food. More focus on that probably could have made this an awesome documentary, but much of this was glossed over. Only later in the film do we find out that the people we've been hearing from aren't experts per se, but have a definite stake in getting people to buy their particular books or buy their particular juicer. OF COURSE the juicer guy thinks everyone should start pulping local flora and drinking it. OF COURSE the self-help author thinks people should self-help themselves to one or two of her books.

I did laugh when the "scary list of bad chemicals" ran past the screen as they were going on about natural, natural, natural. I recognized two of the scary chemicals as extract from orange peels (limonene and linalool).

I guess I was looking for something a bit more hard-nosed about exactly what bad food does that is so bad, and why. This isn't that documentary. But it has some worthwhile parts, at first. Watch the first half, and then go about your day.
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70 of 76 people found the following review helpful
The new documentary "Hungry For Change" covers a familiar topic, but repackages the information in a nice user-friendly way. In all honesty, I have now seen about a dozen different films that challenge the status quo and seek to enlighten the masses about the destructive nature of careless eating. But despite what seems like a patently obvious message, we (as consumers) still choose to look the other way. As a society, we have branded convenience as more important than health and big business has taken advantage of this decision in some pretty nefarious ways. But like many, while I realize my faults, I still perpetuate the problem in my own lifestyle. In truth, "Hungry for Change" really doesn't present anything I haven't seen before--but I guess a caustic reminder is appropriate every once in a while! And if you have never given your food choices much thought, I'd definitely say this is worth a look.

There are a lot of topics covered in this brief ninety minute presentation. For me, the film starts on incredibly strong ground as it deals directly with concerns of diet and nutrition. The section on dieting is both amusing and disturbing, and the criticisms presented about food manufacturers, distributors, and regulators hit the target mercilessly. Just the facts about so-called fat-free products should be shown to every household in the world that thinks it's making smarter choices! Sugar, of course, takes an expected (and warranted) beating by the experts. We even see Jamie Oliver (flavored milk's biggest opponent) at the 2010 TED conference. But if you follow this educational movement, you'll recognize many of this movie's participants (it is by the makers of Food Matters).

The movie strays a bit from its central themes with discussions on skin products and there's even an endorsement for positive visualization. It's as if the makers wanted to stuff so much material into the movie, it started to lose a bit of impact for me. There is also an ongoing, but manufactured, dramatic arc that I found completely unnecessary. Like a cheesy educational film, we watch a fictional woman at various points throughout the movie as she morphs from a shy frump to a confident woman. It's a corny bit of filmmaking that detracted from the movie's essential themes. But still, these are small gripes. The important message in "Hungry for Change" should be seen and heard. But at 4 stars, I'm judging the movie and not the primary message. Beyond the movie itself, the DVD boasts almost a couple more hours of additional footage and interviews. KGHarris, 10/12.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on June 29, 2012
This film is amazing. I have watched a lot of food and health related documentaries, so I was skeptical at paying a high price for another one. After watching the trailer though I was hooked and had to get it! After watching it, I'm glad I did. This film was very well produced and has such a wealth of knowledge, that even for people who have seen or read a ton on nutrition and food there is still more information for you here, and it's presented in such a welcoming way that I think it is especially great for the people who are just beginning to want to change their health for the better. I am telling all my friends and family about this film, you should definitely check it out!
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2015
Some day someone will produce a scientifically-based documentary about the relationship the western world has with the multi-billion dollar food industry and how it has helped to contribute to the obesity epidemic.

This isn't it.

It all started out reasonably enough. We eat too much of the wrong foods, spurred on by a corporate empire marketing machine that has used science to maximize profits and keep us coming back for more.

I'd kill for a balanced documentary that sticks to actual science to help those addicted to carbs and processed foods put them back on the shelf and enthusiastically reach for something better. One that also realizes the modern American lifestyle requires convenient, accessible, and practical solutions that a time-pressed family can actually adopt. Buying 20lbs of organic vegetables a week from a rural organic co-op to turn into algae-colored slop isn't going to work for the vast majority of us, no matter how good it might sound to some.

As other reviewers have noted, the first 20-30 minutes of Hungry for Change seemed to be lining up a strong case for action to outwit the processed food and drink industry. Not because they are inherently evil or out to kill their customers, but because the choices we make as part of a BALANCED diet too often lean towards convenience foods that are probably fine in moderation, but not in excess.

But as usual with these kinds of documentaries, the woo-woo pseudo science starts falling out all over the place the more you let these people talk. The reasonable becomes unreasonable, the rational becomes increasingly absurd. Things started to fall apart when the unproven claims about aspartame and high fructose corn syrup turned up. By the time they started implicating dental fillings in toxic mercury poisoning I knew I was knee deep in Woo Woo Land, where science takes a back seat to increasingly strident and paranoid health claims from the granola people.

Coca-Cola wants to sell you liquid candy, Hungry for Change wants to peddle you books. You can watch Coca-Cola commercials for free, but you may have paid to watch Hungry for Change.

The people behind this documentary also gave us the completely ludicrous 2008 film Food Matters, the one that accused the medical community and food industry of being part of a giant conspiracy to keep us out of our salad bowls. In short, that film's premise was that virtually all cooked food kills. Eating raw vegetables alone makes you thrive, if you can manage to wolf down a few pounds of leafy greens every day.

Perhaps realizing no sane person is realistically going to throw away the contents of their refrigerators and pantries to make room for 20lbs of kale and lettuces one is expected to graze on for the rest of your life, Hungry for Change tries to keep you on the reservation by turning that 20lbs of leaves into delicious(?) veggie shakes. You can do that, right?

Except one of the strongest advocates for this approach is seen in the film looking like he's about to vomit after ingesting what looks like a glass of thick green algae. If he can't stomach it, how can we?

One might wonder why our food pyramid hasn't been replaced by a tree if this is the path to total nutritional salvation. These kinds of documentaries usually explain that problem away by suggesting it's a conspiracy between medical professionals, the government, and the food companies. Indeed, the scientifically unproven claims that aspartame kills your brain cells and high fructose corn syrup is poison to your body are made not based on the peer-reviewed scientific method, but by hysterical articles in organic health magazines and newsletters. The studies that say otherwise are dismissed as "industry-funded." In some cases this is indeed true, but there are other studies independently funded that also find no evidence to back up the filmmakers' claims.

I have the same demand of all who throw around these kinds of claims -- show me the science. Show me a study that can be repeated independently with the same results.

So who are the science-based creators of this documentary?

"James Colquhoun and Laurentine Bosch are Nutritional Consultants turned filmmakers," says the website. Further digging finds their credentials don't extend far beyond that, relying on a degree from the "Global College of Natural Medicine" -- a school listed by Quack Watch as completely devoid of recognition by any legitimate accrediting agency. In short, you could get a degree by mail and be equally qualified.

Many of the other "experts" in the film also lack degrees, so various creative titles are bestowed on them like a “Traditional and Wild Foods Expert” and a “Cleansing and Detoxification Expert.” Raise your hand if your accredited college offers degrees for these.

Speaking of "detoxification," this too is knee-deep in Woo Woo. What happens when someone starts a "detox" diet is their body learns to live (temporarily) without the usual additives and lousy foods it used to expect. So you experience caffeine withdrawal, easy carbs are replaced with more complex protein which doesn't spike your sugar levels, and the often fiber-rich detox "diet" is likely to increase bowel movements. There is nothing wrong with taking this approach if you understand what it really is. Your body is not shedding toxins or entrapped feces, it is simply adjusting to a more responsible "diet."

The filmmakers have couched their juicing advocacy amidst various claims that most people would readily accept as factual, hoping to ride a credibility wave to win equal acceptance of their juicing approach. Unfortunately, just as diets are not sustainable for the long term, advocating a diet of liquid slop isn't going to work over the long haul either.

Instead, eat a sensible diet of lean meats and high quality carbs and proteins, use heart healthy oils and nuts, limit processed foods and get exercise. That is all you actually need, along with the support of others who are in the same boat. You can even juice those veggies for breakfast if you like. But don't expect them to make you cancer-free, beautiful, and a thin, well-abbed version of your former self.
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59 of 76 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2012
I loved "Fat Sick and Nearly Dead" and saw an add for this movie on the JointheReboot website. I was expecting something more like that. I don't disagree with the ideas discussed here, I just didn't like the format. A lot of the clips were repetitive, there were only minor allusions to some of the speakers' personal stories - which sounded like they would have been some of the most compelling parts. I also didn't find the little vignettes of the diet-soda chugging lady necessary, it was a cheesy and distracting story telling device. I wanted to see more personal stories and more specifics on healthy eating and juicing and whatnot. Disappointed.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on May 17, 2014
Though this movie may be effective in moving people to care more about what they eat, a lot of the information provided is poorly sited and based on opinion more than science. As a nutrition professional who is well informed on how the food industry is hijacking our senses to make a profit while exploiting our health, this movie was very frustrating for me to watch because of its misinformation.

A person who puts out a fire in their house is not called a fire safety expert. As such, a person who is able to lose weight and writes a book about it should not be called a weight loss expert.

I agree that things need to change, but I believe that people should be motivated to change based on fact and not opinion like this movie exhibits.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2013
This clip did not impress me as much as Foodmatters or Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.
The subject in the movie mildly showed wrong eating habits and came to change to a healthy eating lifestyle supposedly enjoying the healthier hair, skin, and weight but there were no visible changes throughout the movie. Foodmatters went more into detail about the bad things about the standard diet full of processed foods, and Joe Cross in Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead melted the fat off before your very eyes.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2012
I felt like they where talking about me the whole time. I loved that many of the experts actually came from their own sick and obese past lives. This film is fantastic for begginers that want to get started because its factual, motivational and not too preachy. The speakers are knoweldgable but are relateable. And I felt like it covered the whole person.. being healthy inside and out. Highly recommend it.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2012
After watching it I'm not entirely sure what "Hungry for Change" is about. It's not entirely about the toxic malpractices of the food industry, and it's not entirely about the origins and consequences of unhealthy eating. "Hungry for Change" just seems to parade a bunch of New York Times-bestselling authors on camera spieling out their nutrition/healthy living mantras and jargon: "Just love yourself!"

What's also distracting about the documentary is how it has embedded a dramatic storyline to weave together the self-promoting authors: a middle-aged woman who is infatuated with one of her co-workers but never musters the courage to tell him so because she hates her body.

I highly recommend "Food Inc" as a documentary that highlights well what's wrong with the food industry.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2012
It was well worth the trouble of ordering this from overseas and worth the wait to receive it. Everyone should know about this, it could improve so many lives and probably save many of them.
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