It’s been 13 years since Supersize Me hit the screens and split groups of friends into two; the ones who wanted to gorge on a big mac after screening and those that have ever since avoided the golden arches like the plague carrying rat mainland Europe feared for a century. It brought to light a new style of documentary filming; where the director is the guinea pig and secondary subject and made us question our food chain and prove to many, a BigMac is for a moment, not for life.
Enter Supersize Me: Holy Chicken! The much awaited sequel from the original creator, Morgan Spurlock and his team set about trying to bring the impact of the first film with a sequel that was designed to be different; instead of eating fast food everyday he will be serving it, in his own fried chicken restaurant.
Making it’s premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, the film so far has received a lukewarm response. The UK’s guardian reviewer, Charles Bramesco is not impressed with the film citing contradictory tales by Spurlock throughout the film and that “Spurlock’s made his own self-absorption more abundantly present than ever.”
Leslie Felperin was impressed with the angle of storytelling used by the director and his team; “Spurlock’s smart move here is to shift the focus away from explaining just how bad high-calorie highly-processed food is because, duh, we know all that now. Instead, Holy Chicken! exposes how the agri-food business uses deceptive but legal buzz words and semiotic persiflage to create a “health halo” around certain foods and brands in order to con consumers into thinking their products are greener, more humanely produced and generally better for you (spoiler: they’re not really) than the Big Macs and Whoppers of old.”
Whilst it is no surprise that the lid of the food industry isn’t being blown off as with the first one, what is more interesting is the channel that may be used to distribute the film itself, YouTube Red. Stop smirking, it’s not that kind of Red YouTube channel and we’re pretty sure Ted Cruz has made a similar mistake, allegedly. The subscription only streaming service provided by the team at YouTube are set to spend $3.5 million dollars to acquire the film.
Supersize Me: Holy Chicken will answer questions about the fast food industry from an insiders perspective from marketing and sales to quality and production. According to Spurlock “the film does a great job of showing is how misleading a lot of this (the industry) is, how we are continuing to be sold things that take advantage of us, that we are being manipulated as consumers.”
Still not available in the UK, YouTube Red seeks out the high end documentary productions and critically acclaimed films, dramas and production worthy content. Seen as also the gateway to a subscription service for your favourite vloggers and musicians, Spurlock’s decision to stream with the service rather than distribute to cinema only, shows how much the service is getting credible backing from well known content creators.
Spurlock sat down with the LA Times and discussed the film, here is a snippet of that talk about the latest project.