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indieWIRE | The End of Cancer? Director Steve Kroschel Speaks of "The Beautiful Truth"

By Indiewire | Indiewire November 14, 2008 at 11:24AM

Steve Kroschel's "The Beautiful Truth" follows the story of 15-year old Garrett. After the unexpected and tragic death of his mother, Garret, who is an animal-loving teenager, spirals downward and fast. His father withdraws Garrett to be home-schooled to avoid flunking out. Growing up on an Alaskan animal reserve, Garrett's father recognized his son's interest in the dietary habits of their animals. This prompts him to assign a book written by Dr. Max Gerson, which maintains that there is a direct link between diet and a cure for cancer. Fascinated and curious, Garrett embarks on a cross-country road trip to investigate the merits of The Gerson Therapy. He meets with scientists, doctors and cancer survivors who reveal how the multi-billion dollar medical industry has made it their mission to dismiss the notion of alternative and natural cures. The film opens in limited release today (Friday), November 14.
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Steve Kroschel's "The Beautiful Truth" follows the story of 15-year old Garrett. After the unexpected and tragic death of his mother, Garret, who is an animal-loving teenager, spirals downward and fast. His father withdraws Garrett to be home-schooled to avoid flunking out. Growing up on an Alaskan animal reserve, Garrett's father recognized his son's interest in the dietary habits of their animals. This prompts him to assign a book written by Dr. Max Gerson, which maintains that there is a direct link between diet and a cure for cancer. Fascinated and curious, Garrett embarks on a cross-country road trip to investigate the merits of The Gerson Therapy. He meets with scientists, doctors and cancer survivors who reveal how the multi-billion dollar medical industry has made it their mission to dismiss the notion of alternative and natural cures. The film opens in limited release today (Friday), November 14.

Kroschel writes on the film's official website, "TARGET="_blank">: "My purpose in making this film is that I wanted to share with people, especially kids, anexample of what constitutes environmental sustainability and profound health for all living things. I have been a natural history filmmaker for over twenty years and have lived close to nature my entire life. And for the past two decades, my house hasbeen a 24' x 32' log cabin nestled in the Chilkat Mountains of Alaska - far removed from modern civilization...

How did the idea for "Beautiful Truth" come about?

My background and life was/is deeply immersed in nature and the beautiful bio-rhythms that exist there. I've witnessed firsthand, all my life, the exquisiteness and pure perfection that life becomes if we follow the laws of nature ; right down to the dirt beneath our feet. Dr. Max Gerson, the man who cured cancer and virtually every disease known to man starting almost eighty years ago synthesized what I believed at my core. And so, I pored and researched everything that this wonderful man did until I was so euphoric and enraged that I HAD to make this documentary , no matter what. Euphoric because he saved people who were sent home to die by there allopathic physicians, enraged because he was despised and eventually murdered for what he discovered .

Elaborate on your approach to making the film...

My approach for making this film was being inventive on the storyline and the production . Because of my background of independently and single-handedly making dozens of natural history documentaries, the "McGyver Style" approach to making a movie look big budget was very familiar to me. I received tremendous help by way of Dr. Gerson's family giving me there undivided attention when I needed it , as well as many EXTREMELY busy M.D.s, Ph.Ds, and other busy people...The vision for ALL of us, was this:

"Get the WORD out about this undeniably "Beautiful Truth." Because it has been suppressed far , FAR too long. Millions have died because they did not know about Gerson's treatment and they died needlessly. And to this moment it is this way. Only because no one in the mainstream either knows or can comprehend that it could be for real.

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced in developing the film?

I am so impassioned by this subject matter and this life-saving movie that I looked at every problem as an exciting challenge to overcome. Nothing could be impossible on this journey. As someone once said, "Start by doing what's necessary, and then do what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible."

What is your next project?

My love of filmmaking has been the true ticket to adventure. At the moment, I'm quietly shooting B roll for a wilderness adventure set in the arctic called "Banff & Jasper," about two orphaned wolverines and their struggle to survive, despite all odds. The movie is based on biological truths, and is so enrapturing, from the visuals of the arctic and the animals that live there, that I think making the film is a no-brainer for filmic success on all levels. I think audiences are hungry for such a Disney-esque true life adventure!

Are there other aspects of filmmaking you'd like to explore?

Whether it is writing a script, shooting, doing sound, editing or what have you, I LOVE it all. The creative process, the dreams in my head, the passion therein, and pulling out the intangible and making it tangible is incredibly gratifying to me. Filmmaking is addictive, and I've been making various genres of films for over two decades and feel that there is SO much more I'd like to do. The bottom line for me though is that, at age 47, I don't want to "waste" the life I've got left doing films that do not carry an inspiring message, a passionate message - a message that will make this world and the life-forms therein a better place.

What is your definition of "independent film?"

My definition of an independent film is this : The freedom to write your own script, shoot the movie yourself with your own camera(s) , edit the film, hire the musicians, and have the final say on the final cut. And, oh yes, pay for everything yourself , which may include owing VISA and MASTERCARD a few backs for a few years if necessary....

What advice would you give to aspiring and emerging filmmakers?

My advice to the creative people out there is this : If you are passionate about your project, go for it. You can do whatever, WHATEVER you want and wish, if you believe in it, and yourself. This is not a theory , it is a law of the universe. Just do it.

Please share an achievement from your career so far you're proud of...

Every documentary I've made I've been proud of. To be able to finish it and say that I've done my best. But, I have to say that the beautiful truth is that "The Beautiful Truth" is the one that I am most satisfied to tears about.

This article is related to: Interviews