Saturday, 25 April 2015

HOT DOCS 2015: MILK - Review By Greg Klymkiw ***

Milk (2015)
Dir. Noemi Weis

Review By Greg Klymkiw

I have to admit that Milk was a huge eye-opener for this fella and might well have a similar effect upon millions upon millions of people. On the surface, the film seems like a fairly standard, straightforward look at motherhood - most notably in the area of breast-feeding. As the film progresses, it is so much more. The picture touches upon areas like midwifery versus traditional medical birth methods, but in many ways this is the springboard needed to jettison us into the shocking and sickening misuse and abuse of women's bodies and by extension, those of their newborn babies.

Once again, corporate interests are promoting extremely unhealthy practises all in the name of profits. What I personally learned was the extent to which the commercial baby food industry held sway over women worldwide - especially in the area of promoting milk supplements instead of good, old fashioned breast milk. Frankly, I just assumed all babies were breast-fed except in rare instances where milk supplements were the only route to take.

Unfortunately the marketing and lobby of corporate pigs is so strong, that kids are being fed powdery packets of poison and chemicals because safety and convenience play such a huge part in the selling of said supplements. One of the more appalling examples of the lengths to which infant formula manufacturers will go to are presented by their purported altruism wherein they donate their product in far-flung reaches of the planet which have been decimated by natural disasters or war. Mothers and their babies get hooked on the crap, and then, the companies having not provided enough donations of formula, force families to pay for more of it in the supermarkets. Some families are so destitute they seek alternate forms of powdered food which end up being much cheaper.

And you know what? As the jingle goes, "Coffee Mate, tastes great, Coffee Mate makes your cup of coffee taste GREAT!"

The last time I checked, synthetic coffee cream powders are not food, but are fed to babies anyway. The marketing of said product does little to dispel the notion that it can be used successfully.

Milk goes well beyond its TV doc roots and delivers a powerful, insightful look at this detestable exploitation and does so across five continents. The scope is wide; as it should be in the case of children and what they're (force) fed during their earliest years.


Milk will have its World Premiere at HOT DOCS 2015. For schedule and tickets, visit the Hot Docs website HERE.