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Forks Over Knives

By KELLY CLARKE
[ONE WEEK ONLY] The Western diet makes us fat and sick. And pills make things worse. That’s the basic message of this utilitarian documentary. But we can combat or even reverse the effects of many of the diseases that kill us most often, from cancer to diabetes, by eating our colorful veggies and whole grains and steering clear of meat, dairy and processed grub. It’s an important concept, no doubt, but a common-sense one that has already been shoved down our throats by everybody from Michael Pollan to Jamie Oliver. Forks Over Knives succeeds instead by focusing on the science of animal and vegetable nutrients, sputtering out a machine-gun rattle of stats that’ll make you sick to your stomach (40 percent of Americans are obese. Every minute a person in the U.S. is killed by heart disease. Each of us eats around 600 pounds of dairy products every year) before introducing us to a pair of committed doctor/scientists who have been working on studies for decades showing evidence of how eating our damn greens can fight cancer and other diseases. (My favorite illustrative account? When the Germans occupied Norway during World War II, confiscating the country’s livestock for their own plates and forcing the Norwegians to eat plants, the country’s rates of circulatory disease deaths plummeted.) This is not high-concept storytelling; the scene setting is plodding, the interviews often droning and the health-focused agenda unyielding (no food porn here, folks). But it does get its point across, most effectively with a handful of success stories from people who ditched medication for a whole-foods diet, as well as a litany of goofy animated charts and graphics, from arteries clogged like sewer pipes to visions of cancer cells crawling over our insides like noxious gray spiders. Ultimately, the doc is a mixed bag: It’s great to stress that we can combat horrific diseases by simply heading to the salad bar. On the other hand? Mmmmm…cheeseburgers.
 

Special Note

 Fox Tower.
 
  • Genres: Documentary
  • Running Time:
  • Release Date: Friday, March 11, 2011
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English
  • Critic's Score: 66
  • Directed by: Lee Fulkerson [Director], Lee Fulkerson [Screenwriter], John Corry [Producer], Brian Wendel [Executive Producer]
  • Visit the Movie Website | Watch the trailer
 

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