Bonus CineFiles: Genetic Chile

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Yes, I know, I am totally not Louis Fowler or Justin Strout, the Indy's go-to DVD review men.

But that's not to say that I don't own a Blu-ray/DVD player and have an opinion on the films I choose to watch.

So in the style of our Mr. Fowler, who graciously posts his extra write-ups on our Indyblog periodically, I offer this brief review of a July 24-released Cinema Libre Studio film, which was sent to our office.

Genetic Chile
  • To imagine New Mexican citizens’ ire over genetic modification of their beloved chile pepper, just imagine if someone tinkered with your beloved hamburger. Oh wait ... they already have: you think those cows are not being fed GM corn? Think again.
Genetic Chile: The History of Genetically Modified Food (NR)
Cinema Libre Studio

I've long respected CInema Libre's socially conscious documentaries, including the must-see, must-follow (as in, launch a major algae fuel network globally) flick Fuel. The documentaries are seldom short on important messaging and some are rather lively and entertaining, beyond informative. Unfortunately, Genetic Chile is a bit of mental work to trudge through, though its topic couldn't be of more import. There's a lot of voice-over on top of statistics that flash across the screen (such as how a World Food Program study in 2010 revealed over 1 billion people hungry globally due to increased food prices), and it's actually difficult to pay attention to both at the same time, as the voice-over is often talking about something related, but different than the text you are trying to read. At the film's heart is the issue of New Mexico State University's complicity in allowing genetic modification of the state's culturally coveted chile pepper, after officials had previously held firm against tinkering with nature. As with all GM tomfoolery — which among other fears has opponents concerned about pollen drift and crop migration and an excuse for big bad bully Monsanto to come in and sue your ass, even though you didn't actually plant their seeds — there's much pondering here over potential impact in our world's food supply. Which makes Genetic Chile forgivable for its PowerPoint-presentation feel and cinematic shortcomings if you take it as more of a fact-finding mission and public service of film journalism.

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