A Place at the Table, a new documentary about hunger in America

by Kerry Trueman

 

A Place at the Table is a moving, infuriating documentary about hunger in America from Participant Media, the same film company that brought us Food, Inc.The Cove, and An Inconvenient Truth. The directors, Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush, use the stories of a few ordinary folks, both urban and rural, to expose the appalling numbers of Americans who routinely struggle to get decent, nourishing food. They also enlist the help of advocates and academics, including Jeff Bridges, Raj Patel, Marion Nestle and Janet Poppendieck, to explain the origins of this shocking but ultimately solvable problem.

 

The beautiful cinematography and terrific score don't sugarcoat the facts; in a country where we produce more than enough calories to feed every man, woman and child, some fifty million people suffer from 'food insecurity,' facing empty fridges and empty calories. It's a needless national shame that undermines us all.

 

But Jacobson and Silverbush aren't just out to make you cry, or make you mad. They made A Place at the Table because of their passionate conviction that hunger could be eliminated in America if only more people would get riled up enough to demand that we tackle its root causes: poverty, misguided policies, and political apathy.

 

To achieve that goal, the filmmakers and Participant launched an ambitious anti-hunger campaign to accompany the release of A Place at the Table, and made the film available on iTunes and On Demand simultaneously with its theatrical release. This is a new strategy for Participant that will enable anyone, anywhere, to watch the film right now, with the goal of building momentum through word-of-mouth and all the media coverage that's accompanied the film's release.

 

Watch the trailer here. See Jacobson and Silverbush's great interview with Jon Stewart here, and Silverbush with Ray Suarez of PBS Newshour here.