(Photo credit: Eliot Shepard)
Fahrenheit 9/11 stole headlines, but 2004 was also the year of the food documentary: Morgan Spurlock’s anti-McDonald’s diatribe, Super Size Me, shot for just $55,000, has since grossed nearly $25 million worldwide. And whereas Bush won reelection, McDonald’s has ended Super Sizing As We Know It. Now there’s a new vegan hero: Woody Harrelson. In his loose little documentary Go Further, opening November 19, Harrelson rambles down the West Coast preaching the holistic trinity of yoga, health foods, and hemp. The two filmmakers joined Logan Hill at Pure Food & Wine, over concord-grape saketinis.
In your films, you make very different examples of yourself: Morgan chowed Big Macs; Woody, you ate organic.
H: There were times when I was disgusted watching Morgan eat those burgers, but I loved his film. The transitions we’re talking about in Go Further are more extreme—but quitting fast food is the fundamental first step. You have to free your body.
S: And your mind. Eating fast food, I got massively depressed, had a little sexual dysfunction, and couldn’t focus.
Did you go in the other direction, Woody? Were you happy, focused, potent?
H: Well, I’ll just say all the changes that happened to me are all related to energy. It makes sense to me that celebrities are health nuts. I mean, you can’t play a leading man if you’re fat with acne, right? H: Acne’s part of how I got into all of this! I used to have terrible acne on my face: red, splotchy discoloration. And mucus—I was constantly blowing my nose. Then one day, this woman sits down next to me on a bus, and says, “You’re lactose-intolerant.” It all cleared up in three days. That changed my life. Doctors couldn’t figure it out.
S: Doctors just medicate; they don’t talk about nutrition. If pharmaceutical companies made bananas, maybe they would.