Mark your calender for a week of food-related films at the Belcourt, starting with the much-talked-about Food Inc. on June 26.
On June 26 after the 7 p.m. screening, there will be a panel discussion, featuring Laura Button, co-owner of Journey to Bliss Raw Foods; Cindy Delvin, president of Tennessee Organic Growers Association and owner of Delvin Farms with her husband Hank; Will Harris, owner/operator of grass-fed cattle farm White Oak Pastures in Bluffton, Ga.; Cassi Johnson, director of Food Security Partners of Middle Tennessee; Marty Mesh, executive director of the Florida Organic Growers. This event is likely to sell out, so plan ahead and order tickets soon.
A full schedule of films is available after the jump and at the Belcourt Theatre's website.
June 26-July 2: Food Inc.
Filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government's regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation's food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, insecticide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won't go bad, but we also have new strains of E. coli--the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. We are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults. Featuring interviews with such experts as Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto) along with forward thinking social entrepreneurs like Stonyfield's Gary Hirshberg and Polyface Farms' Joel Salatin, Food Inc. reveals surprising--and often shocking truths--about what we eat, how it's produced, who we have become as a nation and where we are going from here. -- Dir. Robert Kenner, 2009, USA, 94min, 35mm
June 28-29: End of the Line
Fresh from its World Premiere at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, The End of the Line is the first major documentary about the imminent peril facing the world's oceans.
Narrated by Ted Danson and based on the book by internationally acclaimed investigative reporter Charles Clover, The End of the Line explores the devastating effect that overfishing is having on fish stocks and the health of our oceans. Scientists predict that if we continue fishing at the current rate, the planet will run out of seafood by 2048 with catastrophic consequences.
Endorsed by and with major marketing support from National Geographic, Greenpeace, and the Natural Resources Defense Fund (NRDC), The End of the Line is the definitive film of 2009 for those who care about the environment, the safety of our food supply, and the preservation of endangered species.
More than just a doomsday warning, The End of the Line offers real, practical solutions that are simple and doable, including advocating for controlled fishing of engendered species, protecting networks of marine reserves off-limits to fishing, and educating consumers that they have a choice by purchasing fish from sustainable fisheries.
Whole Foods Market Green Hills Seafood Specialists will be on hand to answer questions regarding sustainability after the 7pm screening on Sunday night.
June 30-July 1: Pressure Cooker
Three seniors at Philadelphia's Frankford High School find an unlikely champion in the kitchen of Wilma Stephenson. A legend in the school system, Mrs. Stephenson's hilariously blunt boot-camp method of teaching Culinary Arts is validated by years of scholarship success. Against the backdrop of the row homes of working-class Philadelphia, she has helped countless students reach the top culinary schools in the country. And under her fierce direction, the usual distractions of high school are swept aside as Erica, Dudley and Fatoumata prepare to achieve beyond what anyone else expects from them. -- Dir. Jennifer Grausman and Mark Becker,2009, USA, 99min
July 12-The Garden
The Garden is an engaging and powerful look at the famous political and social battle over the largest community garden in the U.S. (located in south central Los Angeles). A follow-up to Kennedy's award-winning documentary, OT: Our Town, the film shows how the politics of power and greed (backroom deals, land developing, green politics, money) tragically intersect with working class families who rely on this communal garden for their livelihood. Equal parts The Wire and Harland County, USA, The Garden exposes the fault lines in American society and raises crucial and challenging questions about liberty, equality, and justice for the poorest and most vulnerable among us. -- Dir. Scott Kennedy, USA, 2009, 80min
NOMINATED - ACADEMY AWARD for BEST DOCUMENTARY
The Garden, by director Scott Hamilton Kennedy, won a Sterling award for best U.S. feature at AFI SILVERDOCS. The Sterling Feature Jury praised the film for "its tenacity in storytelling in the face of injustice, and the filmmaker's singular vision in bringing a gripping, dramatic, and important story to the public eye. The Garden has raw emotion, visceral energy, and nail-biting twists and turns. It unravels a complex and layered tale of the destruction of America's largest urban farm that must not be forgotten."