Film Review: The Beautiful Truth

An unusual and sobering documentary which turns conventional wisdom about health matters on its head.

The mainstream medical community will hate Steve Kroschel’s film, but The Beautiful Truth should make everyone else think hard about their healthcare options. Kroschel’s matter-of-fact approach lends credence to his arguments.

Playing off the title An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore’s hit environmental documentary, The Beautiful Truth also explores the interrelatedness of wellness and the environment. In Kroschel’s narrative, an Alaskan teenager named Garrett (the director’s son) seeks to discover why his mother died tragically young and learns some alarming facts.

When Garrett’s father gives him a decades-old book by Dr. Max Gerson, which contends there is a link between diet and a cure for cancer, the boy decides to find out more about Gerson and his theories. He embarks on a cross-country journey, meeting scientists, doctors and cancer survivors. What Garrett concludes is that there has been a wholesale cover-up of the multi-billion-dollar medical and pharmaceutical industries’ efforts to foist drugs on society that are either of little help or downright harmful. Garrett’s hometown benefits from his wisdom and develops new ways of curing diseases, while the boy plans to tell the world about the Gerson Therapy.

Implementing the deadpan-style humor of Michael Moore, Steve Kroschel probes his topic with a healthy sense of irony and wonder. Recognizing that angry muckraking would turn off most viewers, he smartly uses the questioning but relatively innocent Garrett as his “stand-in.”

It is fascinating to hear about the evils of fluoride (after years of being told how good it is) and the impact of MSG and aspartame on brain cancer. Either The Beautiful Truth will shock you or confirm your worst suspicions, and even the skeptical will want to find out more on their own. The film’s technical credits are above-average.

One of the better documentaries to be released this year (or at least one of the more important ones), The Beautiful Truth is a must-see.