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Big River

Following up on their Peabody Award-winning documentary KING CORN , Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis have returned to Iowa with a new mission: to investigate the environmental impact their acre of corn has had on the people and places downstream.

In a journey that spans from the heartland to the Gulf of Mexico, Ian and Curt trade their combine for a canoe, and set out to see the big world their little acre of corn has touched. On their trip, flashbacks to the pesticides they sprayed, the fertilizers they injected, and the soil they plowed now lead to new questions, explored by new experts in new places. Half of Iowa's topsoil, they learn, has been washed out to sea. Fertilizer runoff has spawned a hypoxic 'dead zone' in the Gulf. And back at their acre, the herbicides they used are blamed for a cancer cluster that reaches all too close to home.

A lively investigation and a worthy follow-up, BIG RIVER grows to ask is industrial agriculture worth its hidden costs?

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