Thursday, March 04, 2010

Big River :: A King Corn Companion

Thankfully the "King Corn" guys decided not to stop there and decided to make a companion piece to their hit documentary. Their latest offering is called "Big River" and is billed as a companion or continuation of the "King Corn" story. There have been screenings for awhile now and according to their website (check out the link) there are quite a few coming up. For all you Iowans you can catch them in Des Moines on March 23rd and in Ames on March 24th. In fact the film will be screening all over the place in March and April ... even in Alaska!

I have had the opportunity to screen the film and I have to say that it lived up to my expectations as far as film production and research goes. Here are some of my thoughts after watching it six or seven times ...
  • After watching/hearing about the floods a couple years ago in Iowa they began to realize that the story of their acre of corn didn't end with just where the food went. Because all of the chemicals they used and put on the ground traveled as well and made their presence felt ... for quite a long ways it seems.
  • I appreciate the fact that they are not afraid to get all sides of the story and are willing to go and talk to anyone that will share with them. In this film the talked with conventional agriculture supporters, farmers, scientists, researchers, chemical producers, wanter plant managers, fisherman, and others. This approach was one of the reasons I appreciated "King Corn" so much and I'm glad to see they continued it in this film.
  • A little of 50% of this movie takes place in Iowa, but then ends up way down in the Gulf of Mexico. It really made me think about how far reaching our impacts are when it comes to agriculture ... especially when we have so much in our state.
  • When they do make it down to the Gulf and talk to some fishermen it seems that both the fishermen and the farmer are having a difficult time coming up with the answer to the problem. The chemicals and other amendments used up in Iowa keep food prices low, but at the same time they impact local economies hundreds of miles away. What is a guy to do?
  • One last thing ... An overriding theme that I came away with was that everyone has a hand in this. Not just the farmers. One of the talking heads reminded us that the farmers are not bad people spraying stuff in order to make other peoples lives difficult, they are just doing what is required by society right now.
My overall opinion? I Loved It. The downside? It was only 25 minutes! What gives "King Corn" guys ... I wanted more :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Big River, with King Corn, is available on DVD from Bullfrog Films.

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