“America’s desire for cheaper, more convenient food has fueled the demise of traditional agriculture and the birth of factory farming” – NYC Premiere
Eating Animals is little more than an examination of the world’s dietary choices and the process by which those dietary choices are met. The purpose of the film is simple enough but its contents are raw, painfully honest, and for some, wildly uncomfortable. But in the era of personal responsibility, it has a lot to offer in terms of content for self-reflection. While it might not be a cheery Pixar film, the Natalie Portman documentary, based on the Jonathan Safran Foer book by the same name, is sure to leave a lasting impact — at least that’s what all viewings of it thus far suggest.
Portman, who narrated and produced the film, has reason to be happy. The film’s first viewing at the Telluride Film Festival ended with a standing ovation. While there are many documentaries about factory farming, Eating Animals takes a different, more visceral approach by getting footage in actual farms, in the areas that animal agriculture is most desperate to keep out of public eyes. The act of filming inside these places is illegal, in fact, which suggests who important it is for big business to keep people in the dark.
Eating Animals’ director Christopher Quinn told Deadline:
“It was a risk, and it’s weird to be called a ‘terrorist.’ It was a real eye-opener to actually see what farming was, which was people wanting to run from you, not wanting you to see the system that was in place, including these vertically integrated structures. They know deep in their core it is not right, but I actually think there is a lot of hope in that, the fact that they still know a guy with a camera shouldn’t be coming around here because it is wrong.”