A Place at the Table | Chicago Reader

A Place at the Table

Rated PG 85 minutes 2013

Hunger is hard for people to visualize, which is one point of this documentary but also its key artistic challenge. Directors Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush hang their movie on three representative subjects, two of them children who go hungry every day and the other a single mom who struggles to feed her kids. Their stories are wrenching and provide a functional framework for the directors to make some important points about hunger in America: that poverty and obesity go hand in hand, because junk food is cheap; that federal subsidies to farming conglomerates underwrite the production of less healthy food; and that the continent is dotted with "food deserts" whose lower-class inhabitants can never find fresh fruits or vegetables. Well-meaning but decidedly prosaic, this lacks the rhetorical punch of such game-changers as An Inconvenient Truth and Fahrenheit 9/11, but it manages to set the table for further, and much-needed, discussion.

Film Credits

Director: Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush

Producer: Julie Goldman, Ryan Harrington, Kristi Jacobson, Lori Silverbush, Diane Weyermann, Jeff Skoll, Tom Colicchio, Christina Lurie and Jeffrey Lurie

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