Farmageddon | Bleader

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Farmageddon

Posted By on 08.25.11 at 11:45 AM

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Kristin Canty, who directed this 2010 advocacy documentary, became a raw milk convert after discovering that its natural microbes cured her son's chronic allergies, and a crusader after hearing from small farmers about the legal hassles they face in producing it. Tracing the problem to the corrupt “swill dairies” of the mid-1800s, she shows how government-mandated pasteurization eventually ended the widespread sale of raw milk and allows intransigent bureaucrats to destroy people’s livelihoods with laws that were written for industrial producers (sound familiar?). Near the end of the film, Virginia farmer Joel Salatin—the Ian Mackaye of the sustainable agriculture movement—faces the camera and, addressing the USDA and FDA, demands: “Why do you hate freedom so much?” That might sound like overwrought Tea Party rhetoric if Canty hadn’t already captured the proverbial jackbooted thugs seizing and destroying otherwise healthy livestock and dairy products that have been deemed “not fit for human consumption.” Sure, SWAT teams holding farm kids at gunpoint make easy villains, but if that fails to move you it's still difficult maintaining an even blood pressure during this film, if only for the simple fact that nobody likes to be told what they can't eat. It screens Friday through Wednesday at the Gene Siskel Film Center. Canty will appear for audience discussions at the Saturday and Monday screenings and there are a number of other associated events—panel discussions, Q&As, and fund-raisers—scheduled during the run. 86 min.

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