The Entertainment Shack

Wisconsin Film Festival 2009: Friday

Posted by Erik W on Apr 4, 2009 10:10 AM

Saw two great films at the Wisconsin Film Festival last night:

Tokyo Sonata (トウキョウンナタ)

The movie starts out with a typical Japanese family of four... a business man, stay-at-home mom, elementary-aged child, and college aged son. Things start to unravel when Ryuhei (the father) loses his job and decides not to tell the rest of his family. As the movie unfolds, we find out that he isn't the only family member with a secret they're not sharing.

It started out a lighter comedy, and I thought it turned darker pretty quick. My more cultured friends called it an in-your-face social commentary on the modern Japanese family, although I didn't pick up on that. Minus some over-the-top emotions near the end, I really enjoyed the movie. The beginning is pretty hilarious, and while the second half looks bleak, the director was nice enough to give you a glimmer of hope at the end.

[Movie Website]

Food, Inc.

This was a pretty typical hippie anti-corporation documentary, like I've seen every year, but I really enjoyed it. First off, I want to say the title sequence (where they show the beginning credits) was extremely creative and very well done, featuring food labels with the production staff's names.

The movie's biggest points were this: The food industry is run by a very small handful of large corporations, and, Monsanto (I think mentioned negatively in every single anti-corporation documentary I've seen) runs the FDA, and this is all really really really really bad.

The only organization or company to be portrayed positively was Wal-Mart, interestingly enough, for their willingness to buy more and more free-range and organic food. (Although, not as much for ethical reasons as for the profit from consumers now demanding food produced more healthy)

It's definitely worth the watch, as long as you're willing to accept your food isn't made by 'Joe the Farmer' like the packaging leds you to believe.

[Movie Website]

listed in: food, japan, madison, movies, wisconsin film festival

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