Aveneu Park, Starling, Australia

Directed disturbing images, heartbreaking stories, and emotional

Directed by Robert Kenner, “Food, Inc.” is a documentary that was created by Participant Media & River Road Entertainment in 2008. They intended to reveal the truths and dark secrets of the fast food industry that the public had not yet had their eyes opened to.  This documentary is comprised of multiple investigations, exploring multiple companies involved in rapidly expanding fast food companies and other food brands. In order to create their accounts, the interviewed employees from each of the companies to inform the audience on the secret and sometimes disgusting environments, processes, and treatment involved in the making of their food. By using the appeals ethos, pathos, and logos, Kenner was able to point out the unforgivable acts committed by multiple large food companies in order to achieve his goal of turning the audience’s minds towards resentment and disgust towards the fast food industry.The first, and most prominent element of rhetorical structure in this document is Pathos. Food, Inc. is packed with disturbing images, heartbreaking stories, and emotional music that appeals to pathos, manipulating the hearts of the audience in every way possible. One example is the use of grimly colored filters in the camera lens when filming unhappy, badly treated workers in tightly packed industrial food factories. Another is images of tortured cows being slaughtered with inhumane devices as haunting and sickeningly somber depictions are brought through the viewers mind. Seemingly the worst, was the story of a young boy named Kevin. The mother, Barbara Kowalcyk, who is now a food regulations specialist, was interviewed on the awful series of events. Her son was killed by food that he had eaten at McDonalds in just a matter of days. By the times the symptoms showed severity to the extent of a need of medical attention, it had already been too late. When inquired about the death of her young son, she replied, “To watch this beautiful child go from being perfectly healthy to dead in 12 days… it was just unbelievable that this could happen from eating food.” Heartbroken, the aloof mother was left in tears by the end of the sullen interview.  This powerful use of pathos clearly illustrated the impending issue that is the fast food industry and implanted a seed of resentment in the audience’s mind.


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