Movie Review: Monsanto’s weed killer can kill humans

Dewayne Lee Johnson Courtesy of Disappearing Insects Productions Inc.

Into The Weeds released by Mongrel media could be a sequel to Percy also released by Mongrel. Both films deal with a legal court battle with Agro-corporate giant Monsanto. Although Percy was a dramatization, Into The Weeds is a documentary.

Directed by celebrated Canadian filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal, the film follows Dewayne Lee Johnson, a former school groundskeeper through his battle with Monsanto. Johnson was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2014, and became the first plaintiff and also the public face of a mass court challenge against the agrochemical corporation that manufactures the common weed-killer Roundup, which contains an active ingredient called glyphosate—a non-selective herbicide used in forestry, agriculture and backyards that is carcinogenic.

The film exposes how mega corporations like Monsanto can get approved for using their products by regulatory agencies by manipulating facts and research data. Renowned environmental and consumer-class-action attorney Robin Greenwald, a co-lead council in the Roundup litigation said that films like “Into the Weeds” open people’s eyes to the power and influence huge corporations have over government agencies. “So maybe documentary filmmakers need to follow us more often and let the world know because otherwise, like, who follows lawyers? We’re boring!” she said, getting a laugh. “So (filmmakers) bring things to light in a way that we can’t always do.”

This film is a character driven compelling docudrama which holds your attention in this one and half our film which has just opened in theatres. The film closes with a rap song that Johnson, who goes by Lee, not to be confused by the Hollywood film star Dwayne Johnson, who has also recently done a rap song. Although a documentary, it is a dramatic film similar to Percy, a film about famer who was taken to court by Monsanto for planting seeds which were contaminated by Monsanto’s patented genetically modified seeds.

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