King Corn | Chicago Reader

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Morgan Spurlock's Super Size Me has inspired a wave of stunt documentaries in which filmmakers try to will a story line on an amorphous issue by putting themselves through some nutty gauntlet. It's a disingenuous strategy, creating the illusion of inquiry when a conclusion has already been reached, though in this 2006 entry the insights are worthwhile. Writer-producers Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis set out to plant, harvest, and sell an acre of corn, which allows them to survey a U.S. agricultural economy that favors cheap food, poor diet, and plummeting health rates. Government subsidies enable them to turn a small profit on their acre, but as they learn along the way, those same subsidies have increased our consumption of high-fructose corn syrup and fatty corn-fed cattle, prime culprits in America's obesity epidemic. Aaron Woolf directed. 92 min.

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