A Place At The Table review

place-at-the-table-smKristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush have accomplished quite a feat of balance with their documentary on Food Insecurity in the U.S. called A Place At The Table. The balance exists between the sensation of unease that arises from shocking statistics and the authentication of those numbers through compelling human drama. The fact alone that 50 million Americans literally don’t know where there next meal is coming from is bone chilling. This is what the term Food Insecurity refers to. In part, these are people in the grey area of poverty that make too much to qualify for assistance but don’t make enough to actually survive the barrage of day-to-day living expenses. The grey area is ever expanding.

But more than make you upset at a seemingly unfair reality, Jacobson and Silverbush investigate the circumstances and political architecture that perpetually enables Food Insecurity if not poverty, the reasons why the poor have the least healthy eating options, and what some communities are doing to combat the weight of need within their own borders. They investigate the success of small grass-roots programs alongside the failure of government to attack this staggering problem at its fundamentals. By virtue of the advocacy groups and foundations – like Witness To Hunger – that A Place At The Table documents, the viewer is left with a sense of hope and an idea of avenues to take in order to participate in change from the ground up. That is somewhat rare in topical documentary film these days, which tend to present a problem without generating glimpses of possible solutions. This is an alarming film with humanity and arithmetic working in concert to present a reality that needs to be changed…..and fast.

A Place at the Table is now playing at the Ritz at the Bourse.

Official site.

Author: Aaron Mannino

Aaron Mannino is a Philadelphia area artist, film enthusiast, and some other things. He has made contributions on film analysis to the publication Korean Quarterly. Visit his blog or his website for writings and art-ings.

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