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On November 17th, Fox Searchlight will release a film directed by Richard Linklater and inspired by my book Fast Food Nation. The film isn't a documentary. It isn't a comedy or a satire. And it isn't a literal adaptation of my book. It's a tough, unsettling look at what's happening in America right now.

Unlike most of the films released by Hollywood, this one wasn't carefully designed to make you feel good. There won't be any bobble-head dolls or fast food giveaways linked to its characters. FAST FOOD NATION was shot on the run, under difficult circumstances, with well-known actors who worked for virtually nothing. The film shows a world that's been deliberately hidden. It tries to make you think about and care about people who are rarely depicted on screen. Characters come and go, there are no superheroes or fancy special effects, and everything isn't neatly resolved in the end. The aim is to make you feel as though life's unfolding before your eyes.

In the five years since FAST FOOD NATION was published, many of the issues it addressed now generate headlines and provoke controversy. Food safety, the obesity epidemic, marketing to children, illegal immigration, sustainable agriculture, organic foods--these topics have become part of an ongoing cultural debate. Americans have become obsessed with food, watching celebrity chefs on TV, trying the latest diet, and worrying about the latest health scare. On college campuses, a campaign for good food produced the right way has become one of the few signs of social activism. In the absence of other forms of protest, changing what you eat is increasingly viewed as a way to change the world.

It's been a real honor to work on FAST FOOD NATION with one of my favorite directors. Richard Linklater has made a powerful and memorable film about a subject that couldn't be more timely or important. I hope that you see the film--not to find any answers, but to help start a conversation about what's going on in the USA today.

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