Films on Health

Fed Up

Documentary 2014 PG 90 minutes. The film focuses on the causes of obesity in the United States. It presents evidence showing that the large quantities of sugar in processed foods are an overlooked root of the problem. It points to the monied lobbying power of “Big Sugar” in blocking attempts to enact effective policies to address the issue. This eye-opening documentary examines the underlying causes behind the obesity epidemic, including the marketing strategies of major U.S. food producers. How did 60% of the country get so fat?  2 in 3 adults are considered to be overweight, with 1 in 3 adults considered obese. Childhood obesity has become an ever-more serious medical issue in the United States. The film includes touching video self-portraits by young people who belong to the almost 17 percent of children and adolescents, ages 2 to 19, who are considered obese. The obese parents who raise obese children — why aren’t they in the least bit curious as to how they’ve become 300 pounders when their ancestors were all normal. This film is an expose of the food industry’s pedaling of sugar-rich junk food to kids and the epidemic of obesity that has resulted from it. It rightly points to the chief villain in our food choices–sugar–as addictive and toxic. Sugar is clearly added to food products that historically had none in an effort to elicit a crave factor, so you can’t stop eating them. See Full Review

Killer at Large:
Why Obesity is America’s Greatest Threat

Documentary 2008 NR 1hr44m. This probing documentary explores the ever-expanding issue of obesity in America from individual, political, scientific and cultural perspectives. Obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death in the US today. But how did 60% of the country get so fat?  2 in 3 adults are considered to be overweight, with 1 in 3 adults considered obese. Childhood obesity has become an ever-more serious medical issue in the United States. The film includes touching video self-portraits by young people who belong to the almost 17 percent of children and adolescents, ages 2 to 19, who are considered obese. There are poignant moments, such as a 12 year old girl having liposuction. The film gives a range of reasons why we have this issue regarding obesity in America: school junk food, too much sugar, lack of information about high fructose corn syrup, portion sizes, television, intense advertising aimed at children, cozy cartoon characters hawking sugar, parents, food companies, politics, lobbying, greed, and economics. See Full Review

Fast Food Nation

Drama 2006 R 113 minutes. Richard Linklater’s fictional tale (inspired by Eric Schlosser’s 2001 nonfiction book of the same name) critiques the junk-food juggernaut that’s arguably responsible for America’s alarming obesity rates. Greg Kinnear plays Don Henderson, a corporate exec of a national fast-food chain, who follows beef’s journey from the corrals to the slaughterhouses — and ultimately to your stomach. Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette and Bruce Willis co-star.

Super Size Me

Documentary 2004 PG-13 98 minutes. Director Morgan Spurlock takes a hilarious and often terrifying look at the effects of fast food on the human body, using himself as the proverbial guinea pig. For one month, Spurlock eats nothing but McDonald’s fare. See Full Review

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead

Documentary 2010 NR 97 minutes. Focusing on two men whose bodies have been trashed by steroids, obesity and illness, this documentary chronicles the rigorous healing path — including a two-month diet of fruits and vegetables — that both attempt in a bid to rescue their health. See Full Review

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead 2

Documentary 2014 NR 1hr29m. With the help of experts, Joe Cross details the eating and lifestyle changes that can help others match his weight loss and health achievements. You definitely need to watch the first movie to get a good grounding of what this one is about. After that, this is an awesome next step on how to move beyond the juice-fast and into the lifestyle while dealing the with pitfalls that are bound to happen. The movie is highly entertaining and merely looks back at the what has happened in the lives of the people and communities Joe visited in the original movie. It takes an honest look at the successes and failures of those ordinary people and paints a very realistic picture of the struggle many people go through to get healthy. The advice is 100% true. A plant-based diet does truly revolutionary things for your health, weight, happiness, and overall well being. Love the message. Very well done!

Forks Over Knives

Documentary 2011 PG 96 minutes. Focusing on research by two food scientists, this documentary reveals that despite broad advances in medical technology, the popularity of animal-based and modern processed foods have led to epidemic rates of obesity, diabetes and other diseases. See Full Review

Food Matters

Documentary 2008 NR 80 minutes. With a staggering number of Americans suffering from obesity and other food-related maladies, this film takes a timely and hard-hitting look at how the food we eat is helping or hurting our health, and what we can do to live (and eat) better.See Full Review

Food Fight

Documentary 2008 NR 71 minutes. Discover the disturbing problems inherent in today’s food system with this insightful documentary, which profiles chef Alice Waters’s efforts to promote local, organic and sustainable agriculture as a delicious alternative to mass-produced fare. Such a good film on the importance of organic, sustainable gardening and foods. Also a brief history on gmo foods. This movie is amazing! I had no idea where my food came from, what was in it, and who controls what goes in it. Very well made documentary. I loved it. Informative and entertaining. Inspires me to buy local and grow something… and cook a real meal. Humans can eat natural unmodified food and that the body can process this easily, but it cannot process the modified food because we did not evolve to eating it. You either eat organic non-modified food or you don’t. From my point of view, this documentary is excellent as a whole, and it gives an emotional & historical touch to events in the history of the industrialized food system created in the 50s and 70s. I love it since it shows the ‘taste’ side of the real food ‘organics’ we Americans forgot because of the ambition of the food corporations.. To me this doc is an extension of Food Inc, still Food Inc still my favorite eye-opener documentary and the one that helped me change 180° the way my family eats, even though my family was vegetarian, it showed me what have been hidden from me by the companies and I came to discover how ‘vegetables’ are actually being grown in a manipulative manner by the corporations using chemicals created by companies that do not care about your health. Thanks again for this wonderful doc. Eat organic not only for good taste but also for the good of your kids. Organic is not the food of the future or something new, it have always been there, it was just hidden from us for money, by the food companies.

A Place at the Table

Documentary 2012 PG 1hr 24m. Using personal stories, this powerful documentary illuminates the plight of the 49 million Americans struggling with food insecurity. It is a startling fact that so many millions in the US don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Food insecurity is an invisible, but very real problem in our country. Of the developed world, the US ranks 23 in food security.  See Full Review

Stress: Portrait of a Killer

Documentary National Geographic 2008 NR 50 minutes. The serially overworked already know that stress is a near-constant fixture in modern-day living. But to what degree is stress affecting our bodies — and is there any way to healthfully combat it? With a focus on the work of Stanford University neurobiologist Robert Sapolsky, this National Geographic program looks at the latest science to see what researchers are learning about this insidiously silent killer.

Homo Toxicus

Documentary 2008 NR 87 minutes. Documentarian Carole Poliquin uses wit, intelligence and common sense to unravel bureaucratic red tape and illuminate the science of the more than 100,000 chemicals created since World War II that contaminate mammals, plants, fish and even human DNA. Poliquin examines the prevalence of estrogen-mimicking compounds resulting in a lower birth rate of human males and the mutations of various species, and how science and governments are reacting. See Full Review


Documentary 2012 NR 52m. A journey into health-care in our modern world. The current medical system is failing due to an emphasis on the treatment of disease instead of prevention. This film focuses on the importance of sleep, reducing stress, and nutrition — which is sorely overlooked by the western medicine model. This is a very informative film that gives you the basic building blocks to make improvements to your life, mind and body. This documentary gives you enough basic information for you to start the research to figure out what you need to do for yourself to improve your own vitality. Excellent expert opinions and a wake-up call to realize that your health really is in your own hands. This documentary may give you inspiration to take control of your own health and life in all aspects — mentally, physically and emotionally. Hopefully the days of throwing a pill at every ache and pain are coming to an end. Concepts introduced include the suggestion of a new health care model where medical institutions are financed based on the health of the patient not by how many procedures and drugs are given. This is an excellent idea. This film gives me hope! Good interviews and message. There is good info to be gleaned here regarding whole health, and I do think it’s worth a look.

Pink Ribbons, Inc.

Documentary National Film Board of Canada (NFB) 2011 NR 1hr 37m. In showing the real story of breast cancer, this film explores who really benefits from the pink ribbon campaigns: the cause or the company. It documents how some companies use pink-ribbon-related marketing to increase sales while contributing only a small fraction of proceeds to the cause. Some companies manufacturing products that may be cancer-producing (carcinogenic) use Pink Ribbons to improve their public image. The pink-ribbon movement thus far has done more for marketing than for medicine. See Full Review

The Beautiful Truth

Documentary 2008 NR 1hr 31m. This documentary follows the journey of Garrett Kroschel, an animal-loving teenager raised in Alaska who, after reading a book by Dr. Max Gerson, is inspired to investigate its premise that diet can cure cancer and other diseases. Garrett travels across the country, visiting with physicians, scientists and cancer survivors to discuss Gerson Therapy — and Gerson’s claim that the medical industry has suppressed natural cancer cures for years.

Dr. Andrew Weil: Healthy Aging

Lecture 2006 NR 1hr 15m. Dispensing practical advice, Dr. Andrew Weil — one of America’s most admired physicians — guides viewers through tips for healthy aging while providing easy-to-understand examples. In this informative PBS special, maturity never seemed so bright, as Weil shares diet, exercise and sleep secrets that contribute to overall mental, emotional and physical well-being. His trusted methods and honest advice offer a favorable outlook on growing older.

Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World

Documentary 2004 NR 90 minutes. Filmmaker Cori Brackett’s riveting documentary probes the link between various health problems and the artificial sweetener aspartame. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Brackett set out to expose the toxicity of aspartame, prevalent in many foods despite warnings by the National Institutes of Health. Interviews with doctors, a former Food and Drug Administration investigator and other experts reveal controversial information about the sweetener. See Full Review

Supercharge Your Immune System

Documentary 2003 NR 1hr 32m. Through inspiring discussions and detailed demonstrations, talk radio host and expert on natural health Dr. Gary Null examines how simple changes to diet, lifestyle and environment can strengthen the immune system. Null explains how detoxifying and fortifying the body’s natural defenses can help ward off disease, and describes specific methods and lifestyle changes that can help viewers attain greater wellness overall.

The Last Cigarette

Documentary 1999 NR 82 minutes. Featuring footage of the 1994 congressional hearings on tobacco and health, in which the CEOs of major cigarette makers and industry representatives defend their dangerous and addictive product. Interspersed with excerpts of the hearings, tobacco-related clips from TV, movies and commercials show the startling tactics used by tobacco companies to entice the public to smoke.  See Full Review


Documentary 1997 NR 56 minutes. Tongue-in-cheek in style but still representing sharp-edged social commentary, this documentary produced for PBS takes an in-depth look at the social effects of America’s love affair with materialism and boundless consumption of resources. Hosted by Scott Simon, Affluenza examines the high price of the high life — both financially and emotionally — and shines a light on some Americans who are following a different path.

Ken Burns: Prohibition

Documentary 2011 NR 3 discs. Ken Burns’s fascinating multipart documentary examines the history of alcohol in America, including the events leading up to the passage of the 18th Amendment, the social and legal effects of prohibiting alcohol, and the repeal of Prohibition.

Currents of Fear

Documentary Frontline 1995. Adrian Dedinger, who grew up across the street from an electric tower, became convinced of the dangers of electromagnetic fields after she and her family were diagnosed with multiple cancers and health disorders. She and other residents in Omaha, Nebraska, joined together when they discovered a high incidence of cancer in their neighborhood–all clustered close to power lines and an electric substation. Do the magnetic fields associated with electric power lines cause cancer? Are the cancers in Omaha due to the substation or simply to chance? Frontline talks to people on both sides of the power line debate–concerned citizens and parents, journalists, physicists, biologists, and epidemiologists–examines the scientific data and explores the role politics plays in what information gains public attention and in funding studies on this issue.

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