The posters for Food, Inc. proclaim, "You'll never look at dinner the sameway again. " I can assure you that, if you watch this film, you'll never look at many things the same way again. Narrated by Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser, this searing documentary takes on industrial food production in the U.S., examining its hidden environmental, economic, and health
costs and exploring more sustainable alternatives to the current system. Prior to watching this film, I considered myself relatively well-informed about these issues, and for the past 5-6 years have made an increasing effort to eat foods that are locally grown, organic, etc. However, I must admit that I didn't fully understand how all of the issues were connected to large-scale food production and the influence of corporate agriculture. And while I had some idea of these companies' disturbing practices, I can't claim that I realized the extent of how they grossly mistreat animals, workers, small-scale farmers, and consumers. This film really helped to connect all of these issues, and make sense of them in a way both that is at once intellectually compelling and emotionally devastating. I promise you this film will leave you with a dramatically different perspective not only on food, but on life and our relationship to the earth, our bodies, and each other. By the way, Food, Inc.' website has lots of great suggestions for easy ways to get involved in working for a more sustainable system.
As a yogi, I was quite excited to watch Enlighten Up! by filmmaker and dedicated yoga practitioner Kate Churchill, who sets out to prove that yoga can transform anyone. She selects Nick Rosen, a skeptical yet willing subject, to demonstrate her theory. Nick travels the world, visiting yogis and gurus whose practices and beliefs run the full range of the spectrum. Despite Churchill's efforts, Nick continues to view yoga as primarily a good workout rather than a path to spiritual enlightenment. These adventures make for an interesting film, but I was turned off by the way Churchill seemed like she was trying to force Nick to acknowledge yoga's transformational power (as evidenced by her oddly confrontational questions throughout the film). Overall though, the film's lighthearted and humorous tone makes for pleasant - if not terribly revelatory - viewing. Learn more by visiting the film's website.
I would love to hear your thoughts if you've seen either of these films.
P.S. I'm on a total documentary kick right now! I know all of you clever readers must have some great recommendations, so tell me: what's your favorite documentary?