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Food Beware: The French Organic Revolution
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Over 50 years have passed since Jacques Cousteau won world-wide acclaim and a Palme d'Or at Cannes for his film The Silent World - one of the few important environmental films to ever come out of France. If the preservation of the marine world was an invaluable cause, that of sustainable, safe food production and a healthy diet for our children is even more urgent. Now, from director Jean-Paul Jaud comes FOOD BEWARE: THE FRENCH ORGANIC REVOLUTION.
For the first time ever, our children are growing up less healthy than their parents. As the rate of cancer, infertility and other illnesses which have been linked to environmental factors climb ever upward each year, we must ask ourselves: why is this happening? What can we do to save our children's health - and our own? The problem is hard to address, because it is invisible. Most of our food has been sprayed with pesticides and grown with fertilizers that have contaminated the soil, by industrial food producers that put profits above our health. But is there another way? Can a modern society feed itself without contaminating land and livestock?
FOOD BEWARE follows an experiment in a small village in the mountains of France, where - in opposition to powerful economic interests - the town's mayor has decided to make the school lunch menu organic, with much of it grown locally. Featuring interviews with children, parents, teachers, health care workers, journalists, farmers, elected officials, scientists and researchers, we learn about challenges and rewards of their stand - both the abuses of industry as well as the practical solutions at hand. What will it take to save our health? This moving testament to one community's answer is food for thought, and provides a blueprint for a growing revolution.
If there is a film to see this year about the environment and our health, it's 'FOOD BEWARE'. --Le Monde
What we found remarkable about this film is that not only is it a warning cry but also - indeed mostly - it is a celebration of life and hope offering very simple solutions. --World Wildlife Fund (France)
A powerful, important film! And inspiring and educational tale. --La Vie Verte (A Guide to What's Green in France)
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This documentary underscores the hazards that come from spraying millions of gallons of toxic chemicals on crops. There are several scenes of farmers in biohazard suits spraying their fields, and we hear from farmers who regularly become ill when preparing the pesticides/insecticides/herbicides/fungicides.
In one scene, the mayor of this town brings together organic and conventional farmers to dialogue about transforming their community's food system.
One of the many hopeful aspects of this film is how it follows the development of an "edible schoolyard" Edible Schoolyard: A Universal Idea. The kids enjoy the process of planting and harvesting; and the school's teachers, cooks and parents take pride in the effort to nourish their children and lessen their exposure to various carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, and other ingredients of corporatized agriculture The Hundred-Year Lie: How to Protect Yourself from the Chemicals That Are Destroying Your Health.
Maybe "Food Beware" is not as stylish as related documentaries such as Food, Inc. and How to Save the World, but it is a very thoughtful production on a critically important issue. Plus, it gives a concrete example of how communities can create a food system that puts people (and entire ecosystems) before profits.
Excellent production values: beautiful photography, appropriate music, perfect acting (probably because many of the actors do not seem to be, and may not be, actors but rather real people captured doing what they do in real life), fine scripting. Mostly in French with English subtitles. Highly highly recommended.