So there we were, watching a documentary on healthy eating while tears streamed down my wife's face. The idea that she could control her cholesterol made her feel less trapped. Suddenly, she had hope. As I sat there, I realized that I did, too.
Films and short videos are a powerful way of increasing awareness of in the food system. With equal parts technology and artistry, filmmakers can bring an audience to a vegetable garden in Uganda, a fast food workers' rights protest in New York City, or an urban farm in Singapore.
That's why there's been lots of talk lately about the responsibility of filmmakers. They're told to think carefully about the images they conjure and to consider seriously the effect their films will have on a pliable society. But what about audience responsibility?
The film shows that hunger, for children and people as a whole, is a problem that America has solved in the past and can solve again if average Americans demand it. A Place at the Table shows us that it's easier than we think.
Every day in the U.S., 50 million people -- including one in four children -- are food insecure, meaning they don't know where their next meal is coming from. The documentary A Place at the Table attempts to put a face on this issue.
Mired in the politics of farm subsidies, food stamps, and sidelined by well-meaning charities and food pantries, a focus on the scandal of millions of working Americans who have little access to healthy food is hurt by the shame attached to hunger, and its flip side, poverty.
The ironies abound in this lean 84-minute documentary. Obesity in this country is shown to be often a sign of hunger and poverty, unlike in very poor, developing countries, where hunger and poverty leave people all skin and bones.