Documentary Analysis: King Corn

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King Corn is an eye-opening documentary that highlights the huge role that corn plays in American society. The film was produced in 2007 by college friends Aaron Woolf, Ian Cheney, and Curtis Ellis, who together moved from their familiar urban city to an Iowa farm. The film follows Cheney and Ellis as they rent a one-acre plot of farmland and plant their own crop of field corn. The documentary serves to demonstrate the American food industry’s reliance on corn and how corn has come to be in essence the dominate ingredient in almost everything we eat. The documentary explores the history that led to this reliance on corn products, and analyzes whether this is a trend that the American public should support.
The production contains the distinguishing
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Fitting perfectly with the theme of the documentary, the filmmakers were delighted to find that the owner of the car was sitting in his car eating a BigMac. The man explained in the interview his belief that everything that Americans eat can be fundamentally traced back to corn, including the beef in his Big Mac. The man explains how cows are fed a diet consisting almost entirely of field corn in order to bring a higher yield of beef to market very quickly. The use of this spontaneous interview was an ingenuous segue into the next topic of the film, which includes visits to the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations that employ this technique and interviews with the directors of the operation. The filmmakers uncover the remarkable speculation that Americans born within the last 40 years of the film’s 2007 release date have probably never tasted beef from an animal that was not corn-fed. The inclusion of this statement in the film powerfully hit home for thousands of Americans watching the film, and served to remind the viewers of the relevance of the topic to their own

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