Directed by: #NinaMessinger
In modern society a great many of us have immured ourselves in comfortable habits - chief among them, the tendency to consume copious quantities of meat. Often we convince ourselves that our actions are harmless, that the effect we are having on both ourselves and our environment is minimal at best - and courtesy of Nina Messenger, indie film H.O.P.E What You Eat Matters seeks to disabuse people of that notion as bluntly as it can.
Featuring #interviews involving several eminent names in the field of food health and veganism, the documentary’s core message is the promotion of a plant-based diet, and it goes the extra mile to back up its approach.
H.O.P.E. What You Eat Matters grounds itself as best as possible, appealing to common sense and calmly emphasising how our actions as a species have had a pernicious effect on our lives and on Earth’s ability to thrive - as well as elaborating on small if no less important facts about the evolution of meat as a food source and the impact those changes have. A particularly revealing conversation near the start of the feature outlines how meat was once a rare delicacy, reserved exclusively for nobility - and now, it is commonplace.
The feature film also spares no expenses in displaying the opinions of others front and centre. Featuring a wide variety of notable individuals and their thoughts on human diet and our impact on our planet, from simple yet undeniably moving life stories that served as a catalyst for change to scientists providing a bevy of revealing and disconcerting facts and statistics regarding our current course as a species, this does not come across as shameless scare-mongering, even if it leans heavily on its core message. This is a message of concern, not of patronising superiority, an earnest attempt to convince others to consider the impact they are having on this fragile cradle we call home and to preserve it for future generations.
It suffers, perhaps, from being a touch overwrought in the presentation of its central goal - idyllic presentations of a green life are plentiful, pastoral scenes with fruit and vegetables in abundance as happy families relish in the lifestyle they have chosen, to the point where one might think that the creators are becoming more than a touch self-absorbed.
Its intentions are pure, however, and even for those who are not of a vegetarian or vegan persuasion I recommend a viewing. It is not too late to ensure our legacy and save our home - and maybe, this feature will prove transformative in the years to come.