Visions of excess

The CounterCorp Film Festival

Trucks of day-old bread emptied into landfills, a sea of chicks shoved through an assembly line — the horrors of the global food industry make for wildly surreal and yet all-too-real images in We Feed the World, one of six feature documentaries at this year's CounterCorp Film Festival. Erwin Wagenhofer's movie views excess, waste, and animal torture from a European point of view, so you can only imagine how much more hellish an American counterpart would be — though the cinematography's attentiveness to the way slaughterhouse machinery robs adult chickens of their features wordlessly says as much as any commentary in 2000's The Natural History of the Chicken. A final in-office meeting with the CEO of Nestlé, who sings the praises of "foodstuffs" (and uses Mike Tyson and "an undernourished Bengali" in one tortured allegory), adds a bitter layer of megaprocessed frosting to the movie's paradoxes. You say tomato, farmers say you no longer know what a tomato tastes like.

Any movie that splices Bryan Boyce's State of the Union (and its Teletubbies images of George W. Bush blowing up oil towers and little bunnies) into an opening-credits sequence is worth a look. Narrated by author Naomi Klein, Freedom of Expression is an effective primer on corporate censorship and culture jamming — a window into movies such as Craig Baldwin's creatively inspired Sonic Outlaws, one hopes. In addition to Boyce, Negativland (partly via the hilariously brilliant Ethel Merman track "No Business") and are also featured. (Johnny Ray Huston)



Victoria Theatre

2961 16th St., SF


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