The Idiot Cycle by Emmanuelle Schick Garcia – a review

I had the good fortune to be invited to the premier screening of the documentary film,”The Idiot Cycle,” directed and produced by Emmanuelle Schick Garcia. Presented at a private viewing, and in the company of many journalists, the 96-minute film received a robust round of applause.  At its conclusion, we were allowed a lengthy and candid Q&A session with Ms Garcia.

Emmanuelle Schick Garcia is a Spanish-Canadian film director, with a most charming accent from the South of France (when speaking in French).   The idea of the film took root when Ms Garcia’s mother was struck down with cancer and she then found out that at least one of the parents of each her twenty closest friends had also come down with cancer.  Clearly, more than coincidence was at work.

The Idiot Cycle, which took 10 years to make, documents how the rise of cancer can be related to the work of a number of chemical companies, such as Monsanto, Dow Chemical, BASF, etc.  Among the core issues, the film puts the focus more on the cause rather than the cure.  One of the major revelations for me was the fact that, in some cases, the companies that produce the chemicals used in the fertilizers are also pharmaceutical companies, providing the medication to cure the cancers that the same chemicals are (alleged) to cause. According to the film’s site, AstraZeneca is a perfect example.  AstraZeneca is the result of a merger between Astra AG (Sweden) and Zeneca Group of the UK (second biggest maker of cancer drugs behind Bristol-Meyers Squibb).  “Zeneca is also maker of fungicides and herbicides (including the carcinogen acetochlor) and owns the third-largest source of cancer-causing pollution in the U.S. – a chemical plant in Perry, Ohio. In 1996 this facility emitted 53,000 pounds of recognized carcinogens into the air.”

The other revelation was the fact that the Canadian government was not interested in participating in the film.  Any politicians that were interviewed for the film were edited out because of a tongue-tied lack of pertinency.  The fact that the cited chemical companies chose not to participate is more understandable.  However, the government’s role is to protect its people.  Seemingly, the film underscores how economics are the driving force.

If The Idiot Cycle still has not found any broad distribution (yet), due to its sensitive nature, it is certainly a film worth seeing.  The film can be rented for 4.99 euros here at Japanese Pop Songs.  In a new twist on community film watching, you can also rent the film for up to five friends in one single transaction.

Here is a trailer of the film via YouTube:

If the embedded link to the trailer disappears (which seems to be the case), you can go directly view the trailer on YouTube here.

N.B. Emmanuelle Schick is prepared to provide viewings of the film on school/university campuses for free.