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'King Corn' Continues Eco-Series

2011 Summer Edutainment Series in Barrington library schedules first Film Night! on Wednesday, July 6, with "eye-opening" documentary.

The second installment of the 2011 Summer Edutainment Series is Wednesday, July 6. And it’s Film Night!

“King Corn” is the film to be shown at 7 pm in the Barrington library auditorium. The edutainment series is sponsored by the Barrington Conservation Commission and Barrington Land Conservation Trust.

“King Corn” is described by Wikipedia as a “feature documentary film released in October 2007 following college friends Ian Cheney and Curtis Ellis (directed by Aaron Woolf) as they move from Boston to Greene, Iowa to grow and farm an acre of corn. In the process, Cheney and Ellis examine the role that the increasing production of corn has had for American society.

“The film shows how the perception of industrialization in corn has all but eliminated the image of the family farm, which is being replaced by larger industrial farms. Cheney and Ellis suggest that this trend reflects a larger industrialization of the North American food system.

“As was outlined in the film, decisions relating to what crops are grown and how they are grown are based on economic considerations rather than their environmental or social ramifications. This is demonstrated in the film by the production of high fructose corn syrup, an ingredient found in many cheap food products, such as fast food.”

The Washington Post describes “King Corn” as “engrossing and eye-opening…a fun and crusading journey into the digestive tract of our fast food nation. Lively, engaging and visually arresting.”

The series will continue on Wednesday, July 13, with Kate Venturini at the College of the Environment and Life Sciences at the University of Rhode Island. She will talk about the native coastal environment, and the ecology and management of invasive species and biodiversity.

A week later, July 20, will be Kids Film Night! with “WALL-E,” a funny romantic comedy about a lovable robot assigned to clean up the environmental mess that man made on Earth. 

“Gardening to Attract Birds” is the next program on Tuesday, July 26. Roseanne Sherry, coordinator of URI’s Master Gardener Program, will talk about how to landscape with natives and other plants that attract birds year-round.

Tuesday, Aug. 2, will be another Film Night! Two episodes of National Geographic’s Strange Days on Planet Earth series, explore the effects of global warming and water pollution on living systems. The episodes are titled “The One Degree Factor” and “Troubled Waters.”

Home composting is the focus of the Aug. 10 program. Sejal Lanterman, URI’s outreach coordinator for the sustainable horticulture team, will talk about the methods and benefits of home composting.

Aug. 24 will be another Kids Film Night! The documentary, “Mircocosmos,” looks at the world of bugs, described as “amazingly beautiful” when viewed through a high-powered lens that invades their world. 

Then on Aug. 31, the series ends with another film night. “Home” includes footage in 50 countries, all shot from aerial perspectives, by Yann Atus Bertrand, who shares his sense of awe about planet Earth.

MikeT1947 July 05, 2011 at 01:46 AM
Too much corn being grown? Wow! Do you think it has anything to do with ethanol, the government-subsided "wonder fuel"? (Wondering when it's going to pay off for the American people) That's your "Green Jobs" folks.
Cyndee Fuller July 06, 2011 at 12:59 PM
I think many people are realizing that promoting ethanol as a "wonder fuel" is a joke -it's just another agrichemical commodity push. "King Corn" gets into this - and how governmental policy changes of the '70s got us here. I also think the "Green Jobs" people (as you call them) are likely thinly veiled conventional business people that are green-washing this to play up an advertising niche. Our energy woes are going to take more personal pain than switching from oil to ethanol. Reducing energy use is a start - turn off your air conditioner, stop fertilizing your grass, walk to the store, .... if everyone made simple changes we might start to make a difference.

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