You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Food Beware: The French Organic Revolution

This dire warning about the state of corporatized agriculture will have to overcome an unfortunate title.

With: John Peterson Myers, Perico Legasse, Dominique Belpomme.

Anyone who grew up eating school lunches in America is probably suffering a form of post-traumatic stress disorder, so there’s a sizable and sympathetic aud out there for “Food Beware: The French Organic Revolution,” in which a French mountain village goes organic to save its residents’ lives. Grimmer in its statistics and dryer than “Food, Inc.” and “No Impact Man,” this dire warning about the state of corporatized agriculture, which opens Friday in Gotham, will have to overcome an unfortunate title and competition from this year’s other nutrition-oriented titles, though it’s a natural for the crunchy crowd.

The term “good food” is considered by many to be synonymous with France, so it’s strange that in the world capital of cuisine, the farming practices are literally killing the population. Cancer rates have skyrocketed in the country’s Languedoc-Roussillon region; mortality is up, fertility is down. As prominent U. of Paris oncologist Dominique Belpomme tells the U.N. Food and Agriculture conference that bookends the film, there isn’t any question about the deadly effects of pesticides and the French farming model. The real problem is a lack of political will.

With this in mind, the mayor of the Renaissance town of Barjac makes a more or less unilateral decision that the local school will go organic, and “Food Beware” takes a grassroots view of a mini-food revolution as the entire town transforms into a hotbed of healthy eating.

There are a few transitional snafus, and some villagers balk at the higher prices. Overall, though, what helmer Jean-Paul Jaud portrays is a town empowered by its rejection of fast food and the shadow of big business at the dinner table, choosing instead a locavore philosophy and a greater stake in an environment in which 30% of global warming is attributable to nutrition (via the transportation of food).

Big Food lobbyists could probably punch holes through many of “Food Beware’s” testimonies: Who are these people? What are their agendas? Viewers have to go with their gut instincts, but the people Jaud talks to all ring true: the parents of kids with leukemia, the farmer who won’t eat the food he grows because he knows what goes into it (and on it). There’s a lot of heartache in “Food Beware,” some about the past, and more about the future: As endocrinologist John Peterson Myers tells that U.N. conference, children today will make up the first generation ever that isn’t healthier than its parents, and “that should not be.”

Jaud makes rather obvious use of the beautiful French children who gambol about Barjac.Sometimes he overdoes it: A birth that occurs with a glorious dawn breaking over the mountaintops is the cinematic equivalent of a Twinkie.

Tech credits are all fine, especially the HD camerawork of lensers Joel Pierron and Ammar Arhab.

Food Beware: The French Organic Revolution


Production: A First Run Features (in U.S.) release of a J+B Sequences production. Produced by Jean-Paul Jaud, Beatrice Jaud. Directed by Jean-Paul Jaud.

Crew: Camera (color, HD), Joel Pierron, Ammar Arhab; editor, Isabella Szumny; music, Gabriel Yared. Reviewed on DVD, New York, Oct. 12, 2009. Running time: 112 MIN.

With: With: John Peterson Myers, Perico Legasse, Dominique Belpomme.

More Film

  • Margot Robbie, Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron.

    Charlize Theron Could Win Second Oscar for Playing Megyn Kelly in 'Bombshell'

    Charlize Theron walked on stage before a screening of “Bombshell” at the Pacific Design on Sunday night and announced to the crowd, “I’m about to s— myself.” The Oscar winner had good reason to be nervous. The screening of the Jay Roach-directed drama about the fall of Fox News boss Roger Ailes was the first [...]

  • Abominable Animated Movie

    Vietnam Pulls DreamWorks’ 'Abominable' Over Contested Territorial Claims

    Vietnam has banned DreamWorks Animation’s new co-produced feature “Abominable” from its cinemas due to a scene involving a map that depicts China’s contested territorial claims in the South China Sea. The move comes as U.S. entertainment firms like the NBA, Disney and gaming firm Activision Blizzard are under intense fire from US fans, activists and [...]

  • The Captain

    China Box Office: 'The Captain' Flies to $340 Million After Two Weeks on Release

    Patriotic thriller “The Captain” held on to the top spot at the Chinese box office for the second weekend, again leading from propaganda omnibus “My People, My Country.” “The Captain,” also known as “The Chinese Pilot” earned $34.9 million according to consultancy Artisan Gateway, for a two-week cumulative of $343 million. The cumulative for “People,” [...]

  • CGV movie theatre Seoul South KoreaCGV

    Korean Law To Limit Film Releasing Monopolies

    The Korean government is to make it illegal to show a single film on more than 50% of screens nationwide. The move is intended to prevent “screen monopolies by blockbuster films” and to “address unfair competition practices in the film industry.” The Ministry of Culture announced on Monday that it will revise the existing Promotion [...]

  • Jason Flemyng, Casting Director Lucinda Syson

    Jason Flemyng, Lucinda Syson Launch Film and TV Indie The Kernel Factory (EXCLUSIVE)

    Jason Flemyng, fellow actor Ben Starr, casting director Lucinda Syson, and finance expert Cristiano D’Urso are opening The Kernel Factory, a new U.K.-based film and TV indie. Flemyng has a long list of movie credits including “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” and Guy Ritchie’s “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking [...]

  • Hache

    ‘Hache’ Creator, Director Discuss Netflix’s Next Spanish Original, Dropping Nov. 1

    MADRID — On Nov 1 Netflix will drop its fifth Spanish original series, 1960’s-set drug smuggling drama “Hache,” produced by Madrid’s Weekend Studio for the platform. Created by Verónica Fernández and directed by Jorge Torregrossa (“La vida inesperada,” “Cocaine Coast,” “Velvet Collection”), “Hache” tells the story of Helena (Adriana Ugarte), a prostitute who ends up [...]

  • Argentina Film Lab

    Argentina to Build Country’s First Film Restoration Laboratory in Buenos Aires

    Argentina’s Instituto Nacional de Cinematografia y las Artes Audiovisuals (INCAA) and the Ministry of Culture of the City of Buenos Aires will partner to build Argentina’s first laboratory of film preservation. Minister of Culture Enrique Avogadro and INCAA president Ralph Haiek signed the agreement which will see Buenos Aires’ Pablo Ducrós Hicken Film Museum in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content