Writer-director Kristin Canty’s Farmageddon joins recent documentaries like Food, Inc. and King Corn in sounding the alarm about what we eat and where it comes from. A lesser effort in the burgeoning canon, it’s still effective in its goals: illuminating how denigrated and dangerous our food supply is, while mapping out how local and federal governments, through a combination of ineptitude and corruption, work in concert to squelch consumer choice and steer us toward the foul output of industrial farms. Canty’s filmmaking mission began after she found herself stymied in getting the raw milk she’d discovered was a panacea for the illnesses plaguing her son. Frustrated that local farms that supply the stuff were being harassed, she started digging around and discovered that Gestapo-like tactics were being employed across the country against small, family-owned farms that specialize in organic and sustainable farming. Like June Cleaver in warrior mode, she’s traveled the country interviewing farmers (many of whom supply her with photos and footage shot as they were being swarmed by SWAT or sheriffs) whose stories are absolutely chilling. These recountings start to blur into one another, which is both Farmageddon’s strength and weakness: You wish Canty had crafted the film in a way to underscore the danger in the pattern she uncovers, without getting bogged down in the repetition.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 6, 2011