|12:15 pm - 1:30 pm
King Corn/Big River
University Center: Summers Auditorium
KING CORN is a feature documentary about two friends, one acre of corn, and the subsidized crop that drives our fast-food nation.
In KING CORN, Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis, best friends from college on the East Coast, move to the heartland to learn where their food comes from. With the help of friendly neighbors, genetically modified seeds, and powerful herbicides, they plant and grow a bumper crop of America's most-productive, most-subsidized grain on one acre of Iowa soil. But when they try to follow their pile of corn into the food system, what they find raises troubling questions about how we eat - and how we farm.
Features Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma, and Earl Butz, former US Secretary of Agriculture.
BIG RIVER is a follow-up on their Peabody Award-winning documentary KING CORN. Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis have returned to Iowa with a new mission: to investigate the environmental impact their acre of corn has had on the people and places downstream.
In a journey that spans from the heartland to the Gulf of Mexico, Ian and Curt trade their combine for a canoe, and set out to see the big world their little acre of corn has touched. On their trip, flashbacks to the pesticides they sprayed, the fertilizers they injected, and the soil they plowed now lead to new questions, explored by new experts in new places. Half of Iowa's topsoil, they learn, has been washed out to sea. Fertilizer runoff has spawned a hypoxic 'dead zone' in the Gulf. And back at their acre, the herbicides they used are blamed for a cancer cluster that reaches all too close to home.
A lively investigation and a worthy follow-up, BIG RIVER grows to ask is industrial agriculture worth its hidden costs?