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Oscar Watch: Kenner Talks Food Inc.

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood January 14, 2010 at 3:33AM

Can a documentary change the world? Sundance entry An Inconvenient Truth, which won the 2006 documentary Oscar, certainly did. So did Super-Size Me. And so has Food Inc., Robert Kenner's probe of America's food industry. Initially inspired by Eric Schlosser's bestselling expose Fast Food Nation, Food Inc. has grossed $4.4 million, won the Gotham award for best documentary, is nominated for an Indie Spirit Award, and is considered a front-runner for this year's documentary Oscar. It's a must-see, and it's not a spinach-movie. Kenner makes it a fun, compelling watch, even as he shows us more than we may want to know. The movie is available on DVD and on Amazon, iTunes and Netflix and will air on POV April 21st at 9 pm.
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Can a documentary change the world? Sundance entry An Inconvenient Truth, which won the 2006 documentary Oscar, certainly did. So did Super-Size Me. And so has Food Inc., Robert Kenner's probe of America's food industry. Initially inspired by Eric Schlosser's bestselling expose Fast Food Nation, Food Inc. has grossed $4.4 million, won the Gotham award for best documentary, is nominated for an Indie Spirit Award, and is considered a front-runner for this year's documentary Oscar. It's a must-see, and it's not a spinach-movie. Kenner makes it a fun, compelling watch, even as he shows us more than we may want to know. The movie is available on DVD and on Amazon, iTunes and Netflix and will air on POV April 21st at 9 pm.

My Flip Cam conversation with Kenner is in three parts. Part One: Where food comes from, building awareness, and struggles with access to power players.


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Part Two: Corporate power, WalMart cooperates, changes in the food industry brought by the film, and withholding info from consumers.


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Part Three: Government change in the offing, cheap food is expensive and damages the environment, the food industry's Ponzi scheme, and the power of Oscar.


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This article is related to: Awards, Genres, Independents, Oscars, Documentaries, Magnolia


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.