Percy parents guide

Percy Parent Guide

A legal movie without swearing or drinking. Who knew that was possible?

Overall A

CIFF: The true story of Percy Schmeiser, a Canadian farmer who is sued by Monsanto after they claim he illegally used their proprietary GMO canola seeds. Determined to protect his crops, his farm, and his family, Percy takes the case as far as he can...eventually landing in the Supreme Court of Canada.

Release date September 27, 2020

Violence A-
Sexual Content A
Profanity A-
Substance Use A

Why is Percy rated G? The MPAA rated Percy G

Run Time: 120 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Percy Schmeiser (Christopher Walken) is a farmer in the small, small, small Canadian town of Bruno, Saskatchewan. He’s been growing canola from his own seed for his whole life, so it comes as a shock when he finds himself being sued by agri-business giant Monsanto for using their genetically modified canola without a license. Convinced of his innocence and determined not to bend to corporate bullying, Percy finds himself a lawyer: Jackson Weaver (Zach Braff), a good man who’s grossly outgunned by the legal team Monsanto sends against them. But legal fees aren’t cheap, and Percy has other concerns about his crops. Thankfully, Rebecca Salcau (Christina Ricci), a young and persistent activist, has a plan: all Percy has to do is do make some speeches and accept donations – both of which are anathema to Percy’s hard-won self-sufficiency.

This is a rare film: a legal drama which has no swearing, drinking, or violence. I know what you’re saying: “But without those crucial ingredients, how is the film going to have any lawyers in it?” I hear you. The answer is that these are fictionalized depictions of lawyers, and not real ones. The result is that this is a film which is completely suitable for family viewing – provided you can get your kids to sit still through two hours of farmers and lawyers arguing about canola.

It is interesting, in spite of the fact that it’s, again, a legal drama about canola. It is significantly simplified from the real story of Percy Schmeiser and his struggle with corporate overreach and the legal system, but that’s just how movies work. The film has to pick and chose where to spend a limited runtime, and it chooses to focus on Percy’s determination and (entirely realistic) farmer stubbornness, as well as the general injustice of his situation.

It’s a simple story, but well told – and that’s in large part to the surprisingly high-quality casting. You don’t expect to see Chris Walken in a movie about a farmer from small-town Saskatchewan. Frankly, you don’t expect to see any names you recognize in anything to do with Saskatchewan. It’s like the Sahara Desert, but flatter and with grass. Absolutely nightmarish. To any of you from Saskatchewan: My sincere condolences. I hope you escape soon. Godspeed.

Directed by Clark Johnson. Starring Christopher Walken, Christina Ricci, and Zach Braff. Running time: 120 minutes. Theatrical release September 27, 2020. Updated

Watch the trailer for Percy

Percy
Rating & Content Info

Why is Percy rated G? Percy is rated G by the MPAA

Violence: Several individuals are threatened with a shotgun.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: There are infrequent terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None.

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Percy Parents' Guide

Monsanto has a poor public image. Why is that? What other notable events have involved Monsanto? Do you think the problem is in genetically modifying foods, or in their overly litigious corporate practices?

CBC: Percy Schmeiser looks back 20 years at fight against Monsanto

Center for Food Safety: Monsanto vs U.S. Farmers

Farming is a hard life and has tough consequences on farmers. Despite the fact that the profession attracts hardy and resilient people, there is a mental health epidemic in farming communities. Why is that? What do you think can be done about it? Why is it so difficult for farmers to get the help they need?

The Globe and Mail: With high stress, anxiety and depression, 40 per cent of Canadian farmers uneasy about seeking help

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Other films about legal corporate misbehavior include Dark Waters, Erin Brokovich, and The Rainmaker. Field of Dreams stars Kevin Costner as a harried Kansas corn farmer who finds his farm and family at risk because of his determination to follow his convictions.