May 8, 2014
“Bad behavior is pretty rare in our industry,” one of the six young farmers profiled in “Farmland” tells us. Though he doesn’t elaborate, his comment’s lack of detail and depth is typical of a film that plays more like a feature-length advertisement than like a documentary. You keep expecting the camera to zoom in on a packet of bacon or a box of cereal.
A glance at the publicity notes, however, will tell you that this one-sided puff piece was “made with the generous support of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance,” a trade association formed in response to films like “Food, Inc.” Smooth and folksy, it traffics in broad, unchallenged claims that serve a single purpose: to persuade us that the only thing wrong with today’s farming methods is our misinformed perception of them.
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