Planet In Focus 2017: Our Review of ‘Modified’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Movies, Planet In Focus 2017 by - October 26, 2017
Planet In Focus 2017: Our Review of ‘Modified’

This documentary is about GMOS. It’s also about director Aube Giroux’s mother. She, as Giroux says in the opening titles, is the one who made her love food. Mrs. Giroux appears as photos and archive footage cooking. In recent footage we see her picking vegetables in a garden she grew on her own. She’s also the person who became obsessed with GMOs in the 1990s. She eventually influenced the young Giroux to do the same. Personal and political mix in this documentary. Here, Giroux’s curiosity takes her to having documented conversations with other people about GMOs. She even talks to the people who experimented with food this way.

This is a very informative film. Giroux uses things like animation and voice-overs occasionally to deliver her point across. It’s not always her voice that we hear. There’s occasionally old radio news. It shows that she and her mother aren’t the only people concerned about this. It also shows Giroux and her family searching for this information and asking the Canadian government what they know. Red tape is always frustrating, but that frustration seems more pointed here. As she says, Canadian tax payers should know what their government is doing about regulating food.

Most films needs heroes and villains, especially a documentary about unwanted things in our food. As a French Canadian, one her the heroes is a Parti Quebecois MP who proposed a GMO labelling bill. And the villains are the three English speaking parties who opposed the bill. Some of the talking heads she chooses might as well have twirling mustaches. But I can’t fault her for being passionate about something I protested about in the past. MOdified is a labour of love for Giroux. She traveled all over the place for a decade to finish this eye opening documentary.

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watch movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you’re working.