King Corn Movie Review

1377 words - 6 pages

Abby Blakeley 10/4/14 ENVS
Brianna Fay King Corn Movie Review !
Paper: Drawing on your notes above, write a 900-1,000 word double-spaced review of the film for an environmental educator's journal. The purpose of the review is to help others decide whether or not to purchase or use the film for their classes in biology, environmental studies, etc. You should include a broad description of the content so they know what the film is about (2 paragraphs). As part of this description, compare and contrast the type(s) of agriculture, food production, or broad food systems thinking presented in the film with what you saw and discussed on your field trip to the Intervale. Then you should offer critical commentary on the strengths and weaknesses of the film (3-4 paragraphs), backing up your points with specific examples and calling attention to noteworthy elements. Conclude your piece with a recommendation (strong, lukewarm, or reject) and say why you recommend the film or not and for what audience (one paragraph). !! King Corn is a documentary about two best friends who decide to move to Iowa to grow
an acre of corn after finding out through laboratory hair analysis that their bodies are primarily
made out of corn. After the somewhat shocking discovery about their bodily composition, Ian
Cheney and Curt Ellis move to a small county in Iowa where, coincidentally, both had farmer
great-grandfathers, in order to find out how they and most other Americans were "made out of
corn." The two friends convince an Iowa farmer to lend them an acre of land to plant their crop.
They purchase genetically modified corn for planting, and with the help of their neighbors, some
heavy machinery, and lots of chemical fertilizers and herbicides, they end up growing a bumper
crop. The two friends decide to find out what happens to the corn they've grown after it leaves
the grain elevator, and find that tracing their crop is easier said than done. Ultimately, however,
they come to the conclusion that their corn is likely destined for one of two American industries:
animal feed or corn syrup.
At the Intervale, the type(s) of agriculture and food produced are much different than
what is depicted in King Corn. Intervale is a place that is trying to achieve a community food
system in which sustainable food production, processing, distribution and consumption are
integrated to enhance the environmental, economic, social and nutritional health of the area. On

Abby Blakeley 10/4/14 ENVS
Brianna Fay the other hand, in King Corn, the two friends lose money growing their acre of corn due to the
cost of seed, herbicides, chemical fertilizers, and equipment rental. These costs outweigh the
price per bushel they get for their corn. These are significant differences between the two. One of
Intervale's goals is to promote the sustainable use and stewardship of agricultural lands, and to
ensure community engagement in the food system. These practices do not occur in the small
county in Io...

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