Food Inc. is a documentary directed by Robert Kenner targeted towards the general public about the ugly truths behind the food industries. The documentary outlines the procedures taken to process the food that surrounds us, with the aim to expose and change the basis, footprints, and corruption behind this process. Kenner successfully does this through several techniques and strategies used to persuade and motivate others to make a difference. Throughout the documentary Kenner covers the basis of how these products are manufactured through many techniques. One of the main techniques used in this piece is correspondence about how the products are truly made. Most do not think to question where it is that the food they eat comes from and Kenner shows just that with statistics, footage, and interviews. He shows the unethical methods used by food industries in order to maximize profit. Methods such as feeding animals food which makes them obese, at a significantly fast and unnatural rate, to the point that they cannot stand on their own and their organs are beings crushed. Kenner gains the viewer’s sympathy by showing footage of these animals in pain, which in turn pushes them towards his point of view on the subject.
Another technique used by Kenner is the illumination of truth of how these food industries have corrupted the government as well as the farmers to their advantage. He does this by showing his viewers government officials who side with the food industries and in fact used to be a part of them. This documentary also shows the workers and farmers, most of which are afraid to talk the crew in fear of losing everything, who admit they have very little control over their farms and the business. One of the farmers even goes as far to say that “it is degrading; it’s like being a slave to the company”. The narrator also states how once these jobs were seen as the best jobs in the country and now they are struggling to get by. He uses real life experiences and facts to open the eyes of his viewers and is successful in doing so. Once again correspondence plays a big role in this documentary to show the footprints left behind by these companies.
Kenner shows footage of people speaking out, who have lost their loved ones due to illnesses they have gained from the infected product, which may have been avoided if not for the unethical procedures used to manufacture it. This immediately gains the viewer’s sympathies towards the families, as well as become more aware of the danger which these companies present. He also shows statistics of the dangers in genetically modified organisms and how they surround us making us more aware of what it is we are eating. One of the main aspects to the documentary that makes it so successful is that Keener gives alternatives. Throughout the documentary the viewers are asking themselves what can they do and he answers this. He shows the benefits to organic foods and the prosperity in farms independent from the big corporations. All in all, Kenner’s techniques, to spread awareness of what one consumes as well as promoting beneficiary alternatives, is successful in leaving his audience wanting to make a change.
Food Inc.. Dir. Robert Kenner. Magnolia Home Entertainment, 2009.Film.