As a latecomer to the growing crop of food-industry exposés, Ana Sofia Joanes's even-handed documentary on the evils of factory farming doesn't live up to its title. Yet despite tilling familiar ground, its argument for sustainable alternatives intrigues.
Credit the eloquent, charismatic organic farmers profiled: in nimbly edited interviews, one says he wants to see chickens "fully express their chickenness," and another recounts his life-altering run-in with an antibiotics-stuffed pig. The now-standard footage of massive "animal cities" will ruin your barbecue, but the film fairly portrays industrial farmers as caught in a hard-to-shake snare of government subsidies and corporate monopolies.
Packing much into a lean running time, Fresh equals its rivals as a call to action. If the images of poultry without beaks don't inspire a trip to Whole Foods, the mouth-watering harvest of an organic farm in downtown Milwaukee will.