Food Documentary Critique


This assignment encourages you to bring what we’ve learned in class in critiquing and analyzing a food documentary. There are roughly a zillion; it’s easy to find plenty via standard streaming outlets like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, PBS, etc. It can be more focused on diet, food production, food history, food industry, or whatever, but FOOD must be the main concern of the documentary.

As a way of complementing existing course material, So, you can write a film/documentary review of anything related to the relationship between food and technology, for extra credit.

You don’t have to ask me if something is appropriate, but you’re welcome and encouraged to do that. But you do need to EXPLAIN to me in your review how the film is appropriate and how we should evaluate it in light of the course. Generally speaking, a good effort raises your grade by 1/3 grade (from A- to A).


  • 800–1000 words (about the same as your longer analysis assignments)
  • Free of typos and basic grammatical errors
  • Smooth, focused writing
  • Due by the final exam date (when everything else is due)

Questions to address

  • Summarize what you think the moral or take home message is? This include both whatever the film says is the purpose AND other important points that you think it makes.
  • How does the film try to persuade you? What kind of evidence does it provide?
  • How is it effective? What doubts do you have?
  • Critically evaluate its strengths and weaknesses in light of the course material. Your review MUST use class readings and discussions! Imagine yourself taking on the role of expert reviewer, helping your reader (not just me) decide if the film is worth their time.
  • Does it make you think about food any differently?

Analyze! Don’t just summarize

  • As noted above, you should begin with brief description and summary of the film. But this should be no more than 25% of your reivew. You are being evaluated primarily on the quality/depth of your ANALYSIS (ie the questions above)!