Saturday, July 26, 2014

Film Review: A Place at the Table

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A Place at the Table, Participant Media, 2012

From the makers of Food, Inc., this is a documentary with similar themes but a different angle.   A Place at the Table tackles the issue of hunger in America, weaving together the personal stories of people suffering from food insecurity with facts, interviews with experts, and various proposed solutions to the problem.

 First, it starts by explaining what food insecurity is, and introducing you to some real people having problems finding enough to eat.  Then it systematically goes through some of the proposed solutions, before ultimately coming to the realization that no single solution can do much until sweeping cultural changes are made -- that our hunger problem is an issue of poverty and politics, not food. 

Overall I really enjoyed this.  It hit on a lot of important points, like the way that processed food is creating a nation of kids who are overweight and under-nourished.  It also made a point of explaining why this is a problem not just for the individuals suffering from hunger but for our society at large, which is something I think a lot of people need to listen to.  This isn't just "their" problem -- it's a problem for all of us, and that was definitely a recurring theme in this documentary. 

Overall, I definitely would recommend this.  From a film standpoint, I don't think it was as good as Food Inc -- it lacked some of the polish and it was a little slow to get started -- but information-wise, it's quite good.  You can buy the DVD by clicking the pic above, or you can try to catch it on Amazon Instant Video or Netflix. 

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