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March 4, 2013
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Let’s chat about Jeff Bridges, National Hunger, and ‘A Place at the Table’

— Posted by Kenny Miles

A new documentary A Place at the Table narrated by Jeff Bridges offers viewers a healthy portion and balanced portrayal of food insecurities that plague many hunger Americans.

 


Directors Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush in collaboration with the producers of the insightful documentary Food, Inc., provide food for thought from a different context; nutrition or the lack thereof for many individuals. Viewers will be surprised when they watch A Place at a Table when ordinary American’s deal with hunger. The term food insecurity, which best describes a person who doesn’t meet basic dietary level of nutrition, really doesn’t discriminate. It can be anyone and the documentary doesn’t shy away from this American hunger epidemic. In the land of plentiful, many people go to be bed hungry despite complex circumstances.

 

With filming a documentary on food insecurity, director Kristi Jacobson was surprised with how in depth the issue is engrained within American society.

 

“This problem is present in every single community,” Jacobson said. “These stories had to be told. Food insecurity is something you cannot see in a person. Its a more challenging story to tell.”

 

Famous musicians offered their talents to provide more soul to the stirring sequences. Music protege T Bone Burnett had an interest in the subject matter and learned about the project from working along side with Waiting for Superman. Editor Andrea Scott re-cut Colorado stories to the music of The Civil Wars. The music touches the viewer and elevates the story to an emotional level especially as Jeff Bridges narrates providing a folksy tone. During these moments, one is engaged to the hunger problems as music becomes a vital emotional backdrop. Director Kristi Jacobson was impressed with how the music of the Civil Wars blended with the footage.

 

“The whole thing came together perfectly. This music magically brought the storytelling to life. It was such a meaningful subject to JR and Joy and they wanted to be apart of this documentary.”

 

The long term reliance of food pantries became an interesting focus of discussion for A Place at the Table. People who assume that food pantries can substantially take care of American’s hunger on an almost permanent basis are mistaken. There is a much larger issue the documentary explores in an unexpected territory.

 

“In making a documentary we go into exploring a problem without an agenda,  food pantries play an important role, but we look at this problem and what makes them rely on it. We have to look at the problem systematically.”

 

Viewers don’t have to sit back and worry helplessly about what will happen to the hungry and malnutrition people portrayed in A Place at the Table. They can respond with meaningful action.

From the Press release:

Participant Media-Magnolia Pictures’ documentary, A Place at the Table, has ignited a coalition of leading non-profits including Bread for the World, Feeding America, Food Research and Action Center and Share our Strength to provide offline and online ways to end food insecurity in America.

 

The centerpiece of its campaign, called ‘Take Your Place’, launching March 1 to coincide with the film’s release, is a first-of-its-kind national action center, powered by Share Our Strength and managed by expert partners to provide actions people can take on a national and local level.  Through this geo-targeted hub, the public will be able to call (855-48TABLE), click (takepart.com/table), or text (FOOD to 77177) to access ways to drive systemic change around food insecurity, along with choices to impact the interconnected issues of hunger, poverty and obesity in the city, county or state where they live. Local opportunities will range from spreading the word about a school breakfast program to volunteering or donating to a local food bank. Any non-profit organization working in the space can contribute to and use the action center.

 

Motivated viewers have plentiful options to respond and take serious action to lobby members of Congress to address this pressing issue.

 

“Having a voice in this discussion is a important, On a state and national level, citizens need to pressure [politicians] to make bold changes.”

 

A Place at the Table is available in select theaters and on iTunes.

 

 

This post was written by :

who has written 242 posts on The Movie Blog

Whether something is overlooked by Hollywood or whatever business trend has captured the Entertainment Industry’s attention, Kenny Miles loves to talk about movies (especially the cultural impact of a film). He covers various aspects of movies including specialty genre films, limited release, independent, foreign language, documentary features, and THE much infamous "awards season." Also, he likes to offer his opinion on the business of film, marketing strategy, and branding. He currently resides in Denver, Colorado and is a member of the Denver Film Critics Society critics group. When he isn’t writing, Kenny channels his passion for interacting with moviegoers (something most movie pundits lack) as a pollster for the market research company CinemaScore and working as floor staff/special events coordinator in the film community. You can follow him on Twitter @kmiles723.

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  • http://www.howardsschoolofsafedriving.com/ Driving School

    nice to see things like that.

  • Wyldeirishman

    Jeff Bridges is to be commended for this work, and for his ongoing treatment of hunger in this country. While he and I may sit on opposite sides of the political aisle, and by extension differ as to some of the causes of this problem, there can be no mistaking either the earnestness with which he lobbies on behalf of those that do without, or the seriousness of the issue itself. 
    Thanks for bringing attention to this film, and to the tireless work of both a fine man and an incredible actor. :)

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