Director Steven Greenstreet captured a fascinating moment in local history with his documentary This Divided State, which chronicled the furor over Michael Moore’s appearance at (then) Utah Valley State College prior to the 2004 presidential election. For his next film, he has turned his attention beyond the Utah microcosm to a bigger picture—much, much bigger.For more information, be sure to visit www.killeratlarge.com
Killer at Large explores America’s obesity epidemic in a way that moves beyond the alarming statistics—two-thirds of the country is overweight or obese; 9 million children rank among that number—to offer a complex, comprehensive picture. While such expected villains as fast-food industry advertising and increasingly sedentary lifestyles make their appearance, Greenstreet also finds other, less obvious pieces of the puzzle. Our bodies’ evolutionary chemical response to stress—eat more and store it as fat—makes it harder to reduce the issue to platitudes like “eat less and exercise more.” And governmental policies come in for a sound thrashing, whether it’s farm subsidies that make processed food too cheap and easily accessible, or political neutering of the Surgeon General, or school lunch programs that actually discourage serving healthy meals. Don’t even ask what happens when two Murray High School teachers try to rally their students against omnipresent vending machines.
Perhaps the most compelling bits of Killer at Large, in light of skyrocketing fuel prices, deal with the impact of our diet on energy consumption. Ever wonder how much of our national petroleum purchases end up in agri-business uses? Or how much gasoline could be saved if our transportation wasn’t hauling around so much fat? Greenstreet has, and the answers are eye-opening.
The film covers a lot of ground, and inevitably loses some momentum and focus. What’s impressive is how consistently Greenstreet’s filmmaking keeps the simple dissemination of information engaging. It’s the kind of movie that isn’t worth seeing just because it’s on the right side of an issue; it’s entertaining cinematic advocacy journalism.
Join Greenstreet and other members of the Killer at Large creative team at the Tower Theatre on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. for a premiere screening. Proceeds from ticket sales will go to supporting Wasatch Community Garden. That’s a food decision we can all live with.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
The First Review of Killer at Large
Scott Renshaw with the Salt Lake City Weekly was the first to review "Killer at Large" and had this to say about it. (Read the original here.)