Saturday, August 2, 2008

Films of social consciousness

Looking to take a break from Harold and Kumar? Try one of our new films that address some of the most critical issues facing the world today: the genocide in Darfur, the human impact on the environment, and genetically modified corn additives in our food supply. Sounds dreary and depressing? Maybe, but these films are all interesting enough to keep you glued to your screen, and there is a message of hope in each one.
Darfur Now: six stories. one hope is narrated by acclaimed actor Don Cheadle. Rather than just a litany of the atrocities that have occurred in this beleaguered nation, this film focuses on the different ways in which people are trying to fix the situation. Darfur Now also shows you how you can help save the people of Darfur.
Human Footprint is a National Geographic production that shows just how large an impact we humans have on our environment. Moving across the human lifespan, this film demonstrates the scope of the resources we use up and the waste we leave behind. Hearing numbers is such an esoteric experience that it's easy to blunt the impact - it's much harder to ignore when you actually see what we consume. Fortunately, the filmmakers offer suggestions of ways to cut your consumption and reduce your own global footprint.
King Corn: you are what you eat is a funny documentary in the style of Super Size Me. A couple of college buddies return to their Iowa hometown and put themselves through the entire corn production process (with a little help from the real farmers in the area and a government subsidy). It's eye-opening to see how ubiquitous corn has become. Here's a challenge: go through the grocery store and see if you can fill your cart with food that doesn't contain some type of corn additive: corn syrup, corn starch, modified corn syrup solids, etc. It's harder than it sounds.

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