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Hot Docs 2014 Review: Fed Up

Comprehensive in its argument, clear with its message, and appealing to the widest audience possible, Fed Up looks to change your eating habits, and probably will.

Directed by Stephanie Soechtig and propelled by Katie Couric, serving as producer, narrator, and interviewer of Bill Clinton, Michael Pollen, and a couple ‘Big Food’ reps who are at a loss for words, among others, Fed Up takes aim our cultural diet. We’ve been lied to about calories, the detrimental effects of sugar, and processed food as corporations exert control on government (of course), engage in thievery (of course), and target kids with advertising (sigh).

Four children in fact, all of whom who are overweight and struggling to shed pounds, form the intimate backbone of a doc that offers statistics, testimonials, clever graphics and music, as well as historical precedents to effectively prove its point. These children are most empathetic, and serve first and foremost to stress the point that simply ‘diet and exercise’ isn’t the cause of most cases of obesity.

The documentary seems to offer material that is both very old and frightfully new. It’s welcoming too, bringing its grave message into stark relief in a way that speaks to those very youngsters in need and those who’ve changed their lifestyle already.

Thank goodness for brief moments of humour, even though they come from those absurd spots that The Daily Show taps into. Mostly, it’s simply stunning, even exhausting, and not necessarily with a happy ending: this campaign is still playing out.

[star v=45]

Anthony Marcusa

A pop-culture consumer, Anthony seeks out what is important in entertainment and mocks what is not. Inspired by history, Anthony writes with the hope that someone, somewhere, might be affected.