Friday, March 29, 2013

"The Beautiful Truth": A teenager and his father document the anti-cancer diet of Max Gerson

The Beautiful Truth” (2008, Cinema Libre)  is quite a touching documentary about the relationship between nutrition and cancer, made by a father (Steve Kroschel) and 15 year old son Garrett Kroschel.    The family lives in Alaska on an animal reserve.  When Garrett’s mother dies, he withdraws, and his father decides to home school him, at least partially.  A major assignment is a “book report” on a work by Max Gerson, claiming that diet can cure cancer.
Garrett travels to many locations in the US and Mexico, interviewing people in various movements that oppose silver in dental fillings, vaccines, and processed foods.  Garrett even has his own silver filling removed.   He travels to a cancer clinic in Mexico and meets patients who are recovering despite stopping chemotherapy.  The film presents an odd theory that the use of fluoride in dental treatment was related to the military complex producing nuclear weapons, and I’m not sure I got the connection.

The film presents some biographical material on both Max Gerson (who died in 1959, possibly of arsenic poisoning, after his first book manuscript had been stolen and he had to rewrite his book), and daughter Charlotte.
The film criticizes the mainstream cancer establishment, including the American Cancer Society (one of the charities benefitting from donations from my mother’s trust), as a front for the “radiation and chemotherapy” industry.
In places, the full-screen film offers stunning scenery, as the boy flies over Alaskan glaciers in a private plane At the end, he returns home to his rural environment, and meets a neighbor who had lost both legs to diabetes.
The film also describes some odd treatments, such as coffee enema therapy.
The film has a poetic epilogue, where aphorisms of Gerson are quoted.  When one dies, it doesn’t matter what one has or learned; it matters what one taught.  It doesn’t matter who many people he knew, it matters how many people will miss him.  It is not fame or accomplishment that matters, but “significance”. 
 The official site (from Gerson Media) is here

I watched it on Netflix instant play, but it is available now free on YouTube.
Wikipedia attribution link for Denali National Park (I made a visit by private plane in 1980), here

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