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      Released May 26, 2009 1h 10m Documentary List
      67% Tomatometer 9 Reviews 85% Audience Score 100+ Ratings New ways to think about how and what people eat. Read More Read Less

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      Critics Reviews

      View All (9) Critics Reviews
      G. Allen Johnson San Francisco Chronicle Joanes' point is made: Eating healthy doesn't have to be more expensive. Rated: 3/4 Sep 30, 2010 Full Review Mark Feeney Boston Globe Fresh may be righteous (as well as right), but it's not unrealistic. In the realm of advocacy documentary, that's no small thing. Rated: 2.5/4 Jun 17, 2010 Full Review David Fear Time Out Director Ana Sofia Joanes softens her agricultural agitprop attack with case studies that prove people can make sustainable, environmentally friendly methods work. Rated: 3/5 Apr 7, 2010 Full Review Sean P. Means Salt Lake Tribune The message is important, yet its hard not to think that Joanes is engaging in cinematic recycling as she covers some well-worn ground. Rated: 2.5/4 Oct 8, 2010 Full Review Alicia Potter Boston Phoenix If the images of poultry without beaks don't inspire a trip to Whole Foods, the mouth-watering harvest of an organic farm in downtown Milwaukee will. Rated: 3/4 Jun 16, 2010 Full Review Kam Williams NewsBlaze A chilling contrast of the sustainable and corporate approaches to agriculture which makes a persuasive argument that your daily choices matter in terms of the long-term prospects of both humanity's and the planet's survival. Rated: 4/4 Apr 12, 2010 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (11) audience reviews
      Audience Member As farmer George Naylor's Pakistani roommate once said, "Americans fear only one thing: inconvenience." From transportation, to receiving information, to eating, Americans will tend to choose the most quick and easy way to get what they want. For this reason, we as a nation have been ignoring the severity of our unhealthy eating habits. We have been accepting the fast and filling junk food that we have been offered with open arms and open mouths. It is arguably high time for us to ditch our breaded, fried and cheese filled mindset and wonder: what are we eating? Enter, FRESH. This explorative documentary, that was directed and produced by Ana Sofia Joanes, takes a leap into this unknown territory, diving deep into the unpleasant details of the foods that we are consuming so comfortably every day. FRESH is does a great job of capturing the attention of an emotional and attentive audience. The film touches on factors such as animal abuse, food contamination, pollution, over-use of natural resources, and public health concerns. It all begins when the opening scenes depict a stark contrast between the chickens and cattle at a fresh and clean looking eco-friendly farm and two large, disease-ridden factory farms. It's easy for the members of the audience to feel intense pangs of budding activism through these scenes, most specifically. It is hard to watch, especially when a bucket of chicks at a factory-style poultry farm is being dumped into their new pens to be raised for meat. They then show the grown chickens, patchy and distressed looking, smashed into too-small cages, ready to be slaughtered and eaten. When asked what the chicken feed is made of, the farmers tell the director that they feed their chickens a "nutritious mix." They have no idea what's in it besides some antibiotics and corn. Among these shots are those of a barren field, depleted of nutrients from growing the same crops year after year. Cattle in a factory-farm are shown as well. The viewer can almost smell the thick stench of sickness in the air, as these cows are allowed far too little room to live comfortably. They are given shots of antibiotics to keep them from infecting each other further. Scenes like the ones mentioned make it apparent to the viewer that there is a serious problem with modern farming and agriculture. Just when the viewer starts to become disenchanted and lose their appetite, a glorious solution is offered: eco-farming. Environmentally conscious farmer Joel Salatin is an eco-farmer from Virginia who argues that chickens and cattle should be able to graze naturally and roam free. Even to the viewer who is not an expert on livestock, these animals are undoubtedly much healthier looking than those shown earlier in the film; the chickens' plumage is puffy and richly colorful, thus expressing Salatin's hope for his chickens to "fully express their chicken-ness." Joel the "grass farmer" is proud of his grass-fed cattle that he leads through the pastures while riding his ATV. FRESH shows that he gets help from his family as they run around and making ridiculous noises to guide the cows to their next feeding destination. The family is shown having a barbeque and eating grass-fed hamburgers while talking to the young kids about vegetables. Again, appealing to emotion, this cute family activity melts one's icy heart and makes them see how great these eco-farms are. This setting is overall far more beautiful and natural and inviting than the previous ones. There are grasses and trees and streams, all of the quaint things that the last farms were missing. This is the director's view of an ideal farm. While personally siding with Joanes's hope for a fresh-grown future, I found this documentary to be overtly biased and a little over-simplified. But, this could have been the direction that the filmmaker meant to go-audiences of varied ages will be able to respond positively to this simplicity. The obvious bias, while not unexpected, is a little off-putting. This documentary could do little to no convincing to a fact-minded carnivore that doesn't care about the wellbeing of chicks or cattle. It's very emotionally appealing, but for many that is simply not enough. There is little mention of the financial cost of these fresher vegetables and eco-meats to the shopper; of course it is more expensive to eat fresh than it is to eat cheaper factory-fed meats and crop-dusted, artificially ripened veggies. It just seems that this film was missing any real research-based arguments on either side. This lack of research makes FRESH's message seem somewhat redundant, as it is simply understood but reiterated constantly. From a technical standpoint, the music seems to work well with the clips, and the panoramic and up-close camera-work is of notable quality. It is interesting to notice that when the shot is of a person with opposing views to those expressed in the film, it tends to be a very tight and zoomed in frame of their face (it brought the term 'mug-shot' to mind). The scenes of the eco-farmland are stunning. You can practically smell the clean country air. This film would almost be worth watching just to see these beautiful landscape shots and to watch the almost-awkward interviews with the factory-style poultry farmers. In the end, this movie fills its intended niche and makes the viewer more aware of what they are eating. This food-oriented reflection is imperative this day and age; despite the convenience of factory-style-farmed meats and produce, Americans cannot go on eating the way we do. We, as a nation, need to investigate our meals and make our health a top priority, and FRESH does a great job of bringing this up. Whether you live in the backwoods or a more urban setting, FRESH illustrates the demand for healthy and natural foods. We just need to work harder to make this fresh dream a reality. ~CFullerUCSC Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/02/23 Full Review Audience Member I think it's a Must See ,,, I can feel this movement while watching the film, the interviews with the local farmers, some conventional and some insisted of doing it the traditional way but they made a conscience decision to farm without any chemicals and let the animals run free and integrated with some modern technology, their belief in treating your animal right, treating your environment right, it will give back. This film shows us we do have power to make a decision how to spend our hard earn money in a grocery store. It is about time for us to refused to be hypnotized by the giant corporations. Being an organic vegetarian (on my way to being a Vegan), I don't think this film is cliche like some critics commented, yes this subject has been done before ,,, but there are still a lot room to be explored and it is important to get the message out, bottom line is next time when I encounter another person asking me why I am eating Organic and also being a Vegetarian, I just tell them to watch this film instead of my constant explanation and defending myself. Thank you Director Joanes, the farmers (Salatin, Allen & others) and many more appeared in the film. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 01/22/23 Full Review Audience Member Good and important message. Much is "recycled" from similar films. Covers abroad scope of pertinant organic food topics. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/13/23 Full Review Audience Member I love me some food docs and this is one of the better ones I've seen in a while. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/09/23 Full Review Audience Member Farmageddon without the raids. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/19/23 Full Review Audience Member Love this film, Michael Pollan and the farmers spreading the word of sustainable farming are encouraging and attainable. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/13/23 Full Review Read all reviews

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      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis New ways to think about how and what people eat.
      Ana Sofia Joanes
      Ana Sofia Joanes
      Production Co
      Ripple Effects Films
      Original Language
      Release Date (Theaters)
      May 26, 2009, Limited
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Apr 24, 2012
      1h 10m
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