Polyphagia: A Rhetorical Analysis Of The Film “Hungry For Change”

1509 words - 7 pages

As our unnamed heroine slumps through afternoon traffic, exhausted and crestfallen from another arduous day of swilling diet coke by the pallid light of a word processor, she turns on the car radio to find a pertinent message being broadcasted.
“…So many people want to know about diets because so many people are going to try them, but they don’t work … some weight will be lost temporarily.” Harvey Diamond, author, was speaking. “But let me ask you something – do you want to be healthy temporarily? No. But you want to lose weight temporarily. They’re – They have failures built right into them.”
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Hungry for Change is the recent documentary by the nutritional-consultants-turned-directors James Colquhoun and Laurentine ten Bosch. This duo, along with producer Enzo Tedeschi, are the minds behind Food Matters, another trouped film denouncing modern diets. Hungry for Change sets out to achieve more than prior films in this sub-genre of documentaries by offering a supposed ‘solution’ to the many issues that are brought up.
They do this by not just driving home the point made by the previous movie on making clear the terribleness of a processed food diet, but by inherently offering a proposition to the audience to move to more natural diet (e.g., paleolithic diets, raw vegan or vegetarian, ‘juicing’) and utilizing a holistic approach to dieting. There was also a fair warning against ‘fad dieting’ in the first half of the movie, as well as an overarching philosophy towards dieting for health as opposed to weight.
The film immediately sets the tone from the very beginning by presenting various interdisciplinary ‘experts’ who equally have part in narrating the film throughout. As the argument develops, however, the narrators seem to have a homogeneous viewpoint with little to no contradiction in opinion, oftentimes continuing on the talking point to a fault. This is suggestive of a single-sided static argument with little dynamic development across opinions. While this is not a problem in itself, it may have been a conscious choice due to the argument presented not being strong enough to hold up to scrutiny.
The arguments made often rely on the trussing that these ‘experts’ provide through their ethos. Statements made were often times exaggerated at best and occasionally required logical fallacies to work. There is a large amount of time demonizing the current food industry and the artificial and mono nutrient compounds in the first half of the film.
Use of ‘scary’ chemical names and misappropriated information about said chemical is used for harrowing effect. Propylene glycol is one chemical remarked to be a common food additive that could also be used to winterize your car. As this is not a false statement, it is similar in effect to saying that water is in antifreeze. MSG was stated as another chemical used in this manner that was extremely harmful (viewer was implored at one point to search for ‘MSG Obesity induced mice’). Aspartame and other...

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