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A Place at The Table | Review

A good documentary should both educate and entertain and Directors Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush fulfill both of these criteria in their newest movie A Place at The Table.

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If Participant Media’s exceptional 2008 documentary Food Inc. asked us to take a closer look at where our food comes from then their new documentary A Place at the Table, takes a look at the issues that face an estimated 50 million men, women, and children — described by policy makers and advocates as “food insecure.”  Hunger is not just a third world problem. One in four children in the US don’t know where their next meal is coming from.  This issue is examined through the lens of three people struggling with food insecurity: Barbie, a single mother who grew up in poverty and is trying to provide a better life for her kids; Rosie, a fifth-grader who often has to depend on friends and neighbors to feed her and has trouble concentrating in school; and Tremonica, a second-grader whose asthma and health issues are exacerbated by the largely empty calories her hardworking mother can afford. In addition, we have the benefits of insights from sociologist Janet Poppendieck, author Raj Patel and nutrition policy leader Marion Nestle and activists such as Witness to Hunger’s Mariana Chilton, Top Chef’s Tom Colicchio and Oscar-winning actor Jeff Bridges.

This documentary manages to infuriate the viewer at the lack of action being taken and ask the larger question about how hunger poses serious economic, social and cultural implications for our nation.  More importantly it makes one wonder how this can be happening in 2013 in a first world country.  Although not a highly political movie, this does make you question politics and the use of hungry people as pawns in a complicated chess game.

The movie is well constructed and well paced and manages to stay focused on the hunger issue versus opening up the larger can of worms around why poverty even exists in this century in the US.  Any movie that can succeed at making a crowd want to take action is one worth watching and I certainly felt roused enough to at least check out the website and find out more at www.takepart.com/place-at-the-table

 

A Place at the Table opens in theaters 1st March 2013.  Check local listings for showtimes

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