Film Analysis Essay


This assignment encourages you to bring what we’ve learned in class in critiquing and analyzing a documentary or film focused on food.


  • 800-1000 words
  • 1.5 - 2 line spacing
  • 11pt Times New Roman
  • Free of typos and basic grammatical errors
  • Smooth, focused writing

Questions to address

Here are some questions to address in your essay. They are basically the same as the food writing presentation questions.

  • BRIEFLY summarize the plot of the film
  • Summarize what you think the moral or take home message is, including whatever the film says is the purpose, but also including other important points that you think it makes.
  • What kind of assumptions does it make about cooking/cuisine/food?
  • Who is the intended audience? What should they know? What should they care about?
  • What kind of rhetorical effects does the author use?
  • What kind of larger themes does the film appeal to (sustainability, responsibility, health, comfort, regional, national, hipster, classic, etc)?
  • How are the ideas of “national” or “ethnic” or “authentic” cuisine addressed?
  • What constitutes “good” food in the film?

Analyze! Don’t summarize

  • You are being evaluated on the quality/depth of your ANALYSIS! While a brief description and summary of the film is necessary, it should serve as an introduction to your analysis, which will comprise almost all of your essay.


  • How does this film reflect contemporary American Food Culture? How does it NOT?