Hot Docs 2014: Fed Up Review

Fed Up

Fed Up

Special Presentation

One of the worst feelings in the world is watching an advocacy documentary that you actually agree with getting everything about its argument wrong.

Absurdly reactionary and astoundingly narrow minded Stephanie Soechtig’s look at how sugar and the marketing of sugary products has been contributing to the obesity epidemic in America has one thing right: sugar is very, very bad for you especially in the amounts people currently get.

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But instead of actually looking at important issues like food deserts where access to healthy foods for some in outlying areas (you know, the people who SHOULD be getting this message more than anyone else) isn’t even touched on except for in two lines of dialogue, and one of them is very dubious. The film’s hard line stance that sugar should be treated in all forms as a poison could have actually worked, but the film’s tone is akin to a flaming chicken being set loose in a dry, open field and the thesis never once rises above the movie simply shouting at people. Yes, sugar is bad. This movie needs to know when to shut the fuck up to stop sounding like a crazy person.

It’s not without merit (watching some lobbyists squirm when questioned about their roles is pretty great), but I implore anyone interested in the issue to see the really great A Place at the Table instead, a doc that played the festival two years ago that confronts every issue this film can’t even be bothered to broach perfectly. Fed Up is oversimplification in the worst and most dangerous sense. (Andrew Parker)

Screens

Tuesday, April 29th, TIFF Bell Lightbox 1, 6:30pm (RUSH ONLY)

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Thursday, May 1st, Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, 9:00pm

Saturday, May 3rd, Hart House Theatre, 3:30pm (RUSH ONLY)

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