Wednesday, January 7, 2009
The Beautiful Truth
If we are smart at choosing the food, what we eat can keep us alive and healthy. Otherwise, what we put into our body can make us sick or even kill us. Of course, everybody knows this. However, hardly everybody agree that a specific diet based on organic food can cure cancer. Not just some forms of cancer, but any cancer. That's precisely what a documentary "The Beautiful Truth" (USA 2008, 93 min.) enthusiastically claims—Got cancer or other diseases? Try Gerson therapy.
The film follows 15-year-old Alaskan Garrett's home-school assignment to study a controversial book written by Dr. Max Gerson that claims diet can cure cancer. He sets off to find the truth about these claims by interviewing many doctors, patients, scientists, and Gerson Institute staff members. He finds out the "beautiful truth"—virtually all cancers and chronic diseases can be cured by Gerson therapy, contrary to the opinions from medical communities and the pharmaceutical industry.
I am sure that many Gerson therapy patients and Whole Foods Market shoppers would warmly embrace Garrett's finding. For everyone else, the film will not convince them to begin to practice the key elements of the Gerson therapy: a strict diet including dietary supplements and coffee enemas.
I certainly agree that removing toxicants through diet is very crucial to improve one's health and to boost body's immune system. This theory is very much agreeing with principles of traditional Chinese medicine. However, I am very much skeptical about diet's effectiveness on curing cancer. As much as I want to believe that the Garson therapy indeed benefit many patients, I am disappointed that the film does not present the data scientifically. Therefore, the claim has no power by the end of the film. If I were the tutor for Garrett, his assignment on Garson research would have come out differently, which would make more sense.
Writer/director Steve Kroschel wraps up his film by sounding out quite a few words as if he was giving an eulogy—"It doesn't matter how many you know, but how many will miss you when you are gone." Perhaps he is trying to distract my thought from figuring out if the claimed "beautiful truth" in this film is actually the truth.
Even though I need more research to come up any conclusion about Garson therapy, after hearing in the film how coffee does to my body, I quit drinking coffee. I drink more tea.