Rhetorical Analysis – Food Inc.
‘Food Inc’, is an informative, albeit slightly biased, documentary that attempts to expose the commercialisation and monopolisation of the greater food industry. The film attempts to show the unintended consequences resulting from this, and for the most part this technique is very effective; however there is an overreliance on pathos in lieu of facts and statistics at times. ‘Food Inc’ starts off with a camera moving slowly through supermarket shelves with menacing background music and a bass voiceover informing the audience that, ‘in the American supermarket, there are no such things as seasons.’ Tomatoes and fruits, we are told, are grown overseas while in season but still green, then gassed to induce ripening during shipment. The anonymous voiceover, which the audience soon learns belongs to the author of ‘The Omnivore’s Dilemma,’ Michael Pollan, then backtracks, with a brief explanation of how the process of food production has evolved, or perhaps devolved in the eyes of many, over the years. The film is broken up into sections, much like chapters, that one by one accumulate in an attempt to paint the broader picture of just how corrupt and ungoverned the food industry is. Unlike many documentaries, this film doesn’t just preach to the choir, in fact it empathises with those who in essence finance these enormous food corporations. We meet the Orozco family of Los Angeles in the section entitled ‘The Dollar Menu,’ and through doing so learn about the predicament facing so many living on or below the poverty line. Essentially, the family has to make a decision on whether to buy costlier healthy foods, or the medication Mr. Orozco requires for his various conditions; understandably they choose the latter. When double-cheeseburgers are available, readymade, for less than the cost of a head of lettuce, it is an alarming indication of why obesity is now a sign of poverty, not wealth and excess, as was once the case. At...
Cited: Food Inc. Director: Robert Kenner. Narrator: Robert Kenner. ‘Magnolia’ 2008. DVD
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