By: Curt Ellis
Publication: King Corn
The filmmakers behind King Corn responded today to the National Corn Growers Association by admitting that “yes, we do want to shake up the Farm Bill debate.”
“While we recognize that U.S. corn growers have grown 93 million acres and we’ve only grown one acre, we did learn a few interesting things in the process,” said Curt Ellis, one of the pair of amateur farmers featured in the film.
As critics have pointed out, the film is notable for its respect of the farmers that Ellis and Ian Cheney met during their time in Greene, Iowa. “Most of what we learned, we learned from the farmers that taught us,” said director Aaron Woolf.
“What King Corn does do is take a fresh look at how government-subsidized, all-out corn production enables a food system awash in nutritionally empty calories,” said Ian Cheney.
“King Corn focuses on the food aspects of corn, which are largely missing from the Farm Bill debate right now,” Woolf added, “and which do have a tremendous influence on our nation’s health.”
The epidemics of diabetes and obesity, fueled by an abundance of commodity-based processed foods, are important problems which should be addressed in the 2007 Farm Bill, but which so far have largely been ignored.
“We certainly agree with the NCGA on one point: King Corn would like to shake up debate about the Farm Bill,” the filmmakers said.
“And while we may disagree with NCGA president (and Greene, Iowa resident) Ron Litterer about some of the best uses of the corn harvest, we would likely be in complete agreement that the best place in the universe to grow corn is right there in Greene,” they said. Litterer’s comments on the film appear athttp://www.ncga.com/news/notd/2007/october/101207a.asp
King Corn is screening on Capitol Hill tonight at 5:30 p.m. in Cannon House Office Building Room 122, for accredited media, congressional staff and guests. Aaron Woolf, Ian Cheney, Curt Ellis, and their farming mentor Chuck Pyatt will be present at the screening, and the pickup truck from the movie, loaded with corn, will be parked nearby.
The film opened to sellout crowds in New York last weekend, and opens in Washington, D.C. this Friday at the E Street Cinema. More national dates may be found at www.kingcorn.net.