Private Project

The Marshall Plan--Solving America's Health Crisis

'The Marshall Plan' is a documentary about how most chronic diseases can be prevented, and some even reversed, without using any drugs.

In 2008, after being diagnosed with prostate cancer, Texas Mayor Edward N. Smith III decided to forego conventional treatment, and instead adopted a strictly whole foods plant-based diet. The results were nothing short of miraculous: his cancer disappeared.

Ed and his wife Amanda have since set out on an inspiring mission to forge a healthier community. A mission that has spurred a dietary sea change within their small town of Marshall, located in the heart of Texas cattle country.

The film follows the people of Marshall, chronicling their shift to plant-based diets, and the remarkable results that follow. The film shows formerly unwell, medically reliant people of all ages who have completely transformed their health and quality of life by finally choosing foods that work for their bodies, and not agains them.

Their accounts are combined with interviews from successful plant-based professional athletes and leading doctors and researchers in the field of plant-based nutrition, in hopes of not only inspiring people to make a change for the better, but to also redefine what they've been conditioned to consider "healthy".

  • Caroline Hofmann
  • Roland Boeni
  • Rupert Bryan
    The Hike, Ghosted, Baseline
  • Edward N. Smith III, Mayor of Marshall, TX
    Key Cast
  • Amanda Smith, Mayor Smith's wife
    Key Cast
  • Guy Fee
    The Ghost Writer, Crazy Pickles, Team Sleep
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 1 minute 13 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 12, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    68,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
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  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Caroline Hofmann

Director Caroline Hofmann was born on June 12, 1964, in Zurich, Switzerland. She is a former PR advisor to several Fortune 500 companies and major Swiss brands.

The turning point came with Caroline's switch to a plant-based diet in early 2014. The changes in her, namely the endless physical energy and mental clarity, inspired her to find a team of similar-minded people who would help her direct her first movie ever.

Just six months after the switch to a plant-based lifestyle, Caroline made her directional debut with ‚The Marshall Plan‘. Her efforts were supported by Zurich-based medical doctor Roland Boeni as executive producer, and Rupert Bryan (who has a track record of producing several award winning features and directing short films, music videos and documentaries) as executive co-producer.

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Director Statement

This documentary partly reflects my own personal journey: in early 2014, meeting a female friend from Los Angeles who had become vegan inspired me to switch to a plant-based diet. Within weeks, I felt great, and noticed I had high energy levels and mental clarity. However, I was skeptical whether a plant-based diet was safe for my health. I came across T. Colin Campbell’s ‚The China Study’ and checked dozens of medical research studies. Finding out that most chronic diseases can not only be prevented, but some even reversed, by switching a a whole foods plant-based diet was something I had never heard before. Thus I decided to produce an educational movie that could potentially benefit millions of people suffering from chronic disease, or the side effects caused by the drugs they used.

The original concept for the film was to document the plant-based movement in the USA and its impact it was going to have for the rest of the world. But soon I came across the story about the remarkable transformation taking place in Marshall through an article published in the New York Times. I flew there to do some research, met with the Mayor and his wife and many other citizens who had turned their lives around. Within hours, I determined this was a unique story that had to be told. 

Words are a very powerful weapon. Having previously been a PR advisor to some of the largest multinational companies, I had quickly become aware of how powerful food conglomerates, the dairy and beef industries, big pharma and their lobbyists influence our thinking to such an extent that we believe one needs to consume animals or animal products to stay healthy. Or that becoming heavy, having low energy and feeling sluggish is normal and part of getting older, and there is nothing we can do about it.

But words are a powerful weapon to bring change, too. In my opinion, there is nothing more powerful for people than other people’s remarkable transformation for the better. With that in mind, I decided not to use a concept commonly used for documentaries that focuses on the clever practices of big corporations. Instead, I let formerly unwell, medically reliant citizens of Marshall describe in front of the camera how one day they started questioning what they had always believed to be true and right, and how they completely transformed their health and quality of life, just by switching their diet, without using any drugs. 

As much as I think all ethical reasons for being vegan are solid, some people don’t care about that aspect; they just want to be healthy. That’s why I decided to also add an educational element in form of interviews with leading doctors and biology researchers in the field of plant-based nutrition. These complement the citizens’ descriptions of their journeys, and explain why their bodies recovered once they stopped eating animals and animal products. Some of those info are not known to the public and thus very precious.

Companies are here to make money; and their marketing efforts aim at creating demand for their goods or services, no matter what. So it is up to us consumers to see through the ways we are being marketed to by them. By doing so, we will see their claims about nutrition and health through an entirely different lens.

This film is about self-empowerment. Because knowledge is power. And if the people of a small community in rural Texas have been able to change their lives around with the newly-acquired knowledge they now have, so can anyone else.