Directed by Daryl Wein
The evocative opening scene of Danny Glover as an organic farmer being hounded by corporate America hooked me in the first few minutes of Consumed. Gorgeously lit and acted, it launches a whole series of disturbing questions.
Endorsed by Erin Brockovich, Consumed is the first narrative film to take on the subject of GMOs. Although I’m all-too-familiar with the stories of farmers and other unsuspecting individuals and families whose lives have been disrupted or destroyed by Monsanto, this political thriller about a working-class single mom and her son’s unexplained illness deftly kept me on the edge of my seat.
Zoe Lister-Jones, who co-produced and co-wrote with her husband/partner Daryl Wein, does a wonderful job as mom Sophie Kessler, determined to discover the cause of the disease consuming her son. As if harassment and subterfuge weren’t enough for one woman to contend with, Sophie is three-years sober and has a challenging family history.
Her almost love interest Eddie Taylor (Taylor Kinney) is a convincing ex-cop who gets caught up in her struggle to find out the truth from Clonestra, a thinly disguised Monsanto. Victor Garber is suitably slimy as CEO Dan Conway, who ultimately has his come-to-Jesus moment.
Danny Glover as the heartbreakingly harassed farmer Hal Westbrook evokes all the farmers, such as Percy Schmeiser, who have been unfairly and greedily targeted by Monsanto, both in the U.S. and abroad. India has been particularly hard hit.
The battle to label GMOs in food has been waging for many years now, and the end is not in sight. Just last month what is known as the DARK Act (Deny Americans the Right to Know), H.R. 1599, which would have blocked states from requiring GMO labels, was defeated in the Senate, so while we don’t yet have laws requiring labeling, which is already the case in more than 60 countries, at least the path is open.
Consumed has enough entertainment value to be a mainstream success, and if I’m any kind of test case, it will be effective. I always look for the organic label when I shop, but yesterday afternoon at the market, after watching this film, I gleefully ran up my grocery bill like a woman on a mission to support the entire organic industry. (Mar Vista Entertainment)
—Available on Digital HD and On Demand platforms