Milk in the Land | Chicago Reader

Milk in the Land

Using stop-motion animation, archival footage, photographs, and contemporary interviews, directors Ariana Gerstein and Monteith McCollum look at the culture and politics that have shaped the milk industry. One especially frightening segment concerns the emergence of "swill milk" in New York in 1852, when dairy cows were fed used grain from whiskey distilleries and produced a bluish milk that caused disease and death, especially among children. Gerstein and McCollum contrast the droning efficiency of modern-day dairy farms with several renegade farmers who have returned to grass-fed cattle and unpasteurized milk. Their 2008 documentary is eye-opening but maintains an ethereal tone, greatly abetted by Mark Hadsell's songs and McCollum's carnivalesque score. 90 min.

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