FILMS ABOUT FOOD
(Babettes gæstebud) 1987 G 103 minutes
Philippa (Hanne Stensgaard) and Martina (Vibeke Hastrup ) turn down a chance to leave their Danish town, instead staying to care for their pastor father and his small church. Thirty-five years later, a French woman (Stéphane Audran) seeks refuge, and Philippa and Martina (now Bodil Kjer and Birgitte Federspie) take her in. The feast the woman prepares in gratitude is eclipsed only by her secret in director Gabriel Axel's Oscar-winning drama.
Beyond Baklava: The Fairy Tale Story of Sylvia's Baklava
2007 NR 96 minutes
Writer-director Silvana Vienne stars as Wendy, a young woman who shelves her dreams of becoming a singer to make baklava with her grandmother, Sylvia (Sylvia Rousso), and discovers a thriving black market for the highly addictive dessert. As Wendy becomes more enmeshed in the baklava trade, she loses sight of her musical ambitions. But eventually, she learns to appreciate Sylvia's approach to cooking -- and to life. Patricia Neal co-stars.
1996 R 109 minutes
Despite its superb cuisine, an Italian restaurant run by immigrant brothers Primo (Tony Shalhoub) and Secondo (Stanley Tucci) is on the verge of bankruptcy. But the siblings risk everything to save their bistro when they get the chance to cook up a feast for bandleader Louis Prima. This delectable allegory boasts a perfect ensemble cast that includes Ian Holm, Minnie Driver, Isabella Rossellini and Allison Janney.
2010 R 103 minutes
An angry foodie develops a taste for violence in this darkly witty thriller from writer and director Joe Maggio. Peter Grey (James Le Gros) is a chef who thinks he has what it takes to become a multi-media celebrity -- he runs a popular restaurant, he's the host of a cable television series called "The Feast," and he's in talks to design and endorse a line of high-end cookware. But while he knows food, Peter is also pompous, self-righteous and convinced he's smarter than everyone around him; Peter wants "The Feast" to carry a responsible environmental message, but his producer at the network (Mario Batali) just wants something that will attract viewers and advertisers, and pairs Peter with a pretty but thick-headed co-host, Peg (Megan Hilty). Peter is near the end of his rope when a well-known cuisine blogger, T.J. Franks (Joshua Leonard), gives his restaurant a scathing review, and soon "The Feast" is cancelled, the cookware company passes on its contract with Peter, and his restaurant closes due to bad business. Peter is certain Franks is to blame for this sudden flood of bad luck, and he kidnaps the blogger, determined to get some revenge, served bloody. Bitter Feast was an official selection at the 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival.
2000 PG-13 121 minutes
Blown in by the north wind, an iconoclastic single mother (Oscar nominee Juliette Binoche) and her young daughter move into a peaceful French village and open an uncommon chocolate shop during the height of Lent -- directly across the street from a church. At first, the shop's rich, sensuous desserts scandalize the town. But the villagers (including Judi Dench, Lena Olin and Johnny Depp) soon learn to savor the sweetness.
1982 R 110 minutes
In 1959 Baltimore, former school chums facing adulthood find solace at the local diner, where the banter between groom-to-be Eddie (Steve Guttenberg), best man Billy (Tim Daly), womanizer Boogie (Mickey Rourke), married Shrevie (Daniel Stern) and quirky Modell (Paul Reiser) ranges from girls to growing old. Ellen Barkin and Kevin Bacon co-star in writer-director Barry Levinson's debut feature, which received an Oscar nod for Best Screenplay.
Eat Drink Man Woman
(Yin shi nan nu) 1994 NR 124 minutes
Distracted by their complicated love lives and secret ambitions, three adult sisters reluctantly humor their widower father (Sihung Lung) by enduring the elaborate, traditional Taiwanese dinners he insists on having every Sunday. Ang Lee directs this charming tale that humorously examines the clash between modernity and tradition within the contemporary Taiwanese family. Yu-Wen Wang, Chien-lien Wu and Kuei-Mei Yang co-star.
Eat Pray Love
2010 PG-13 140 minutes
Julia Roberts stars in this adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert's best-selling memoir about coping with a depressing divorce. After deciding to reshape her life, Liz (Roberts) travels the world in search of direction. She heads to Italy, India and Bali, indulging in delicious cuisine while seeking the true meaning of self-love, family, friendship and forgiveness. Along the way, she meets a bevy of characters and, possibly, her true love.
Eating: A Very Serious Comedy About Women and Food
1990 R 110 minutes
Director Henry Jaglom excavates secrets, lies and food issues in this dramedy. A budding filmmaker keeps the camera going during a birthday party held at the home of gracious host Helene (Lisa Richards). While there's much to celebrate, viewers soon become privy to shocking confessions from the female guests, many of whom share wretched truths about their unhealthy relationships with food. Co-stars Toni Basil, Gwen Welles and Mary Crosby.
Fast Food Nation
2006 R 113 minutes
Richard Linklater's fictional tale (inspired by Eric Schlosser's 2001 nonfiction book of the same name) critiques the junk-food juggernaut that's arguably responsible for America's alarming obesity rates. Greg Kinnear plays Don Henderson, a corporate exec of a national fast-food chain, who follows beef's journey from the corrals to the slaughterhouses -- and ultimately to your stomach. Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette and Bruce Willis co-star.
Fried Green Tomatoes
1991 NR 136 minutes
In this adaptation of Fanny Flagg's novel, flashbacks reveal the remarkable and mysterious story of soul mates Idgie (Mary Stuart Masterson) and Ruth Jamison (Mary-Louise Parker), whose antics cause an uproar in their rural Southern town during the 1920s. Feisty Ninny Threadgoode (Jessica Tandy) tells the tale to a repressed Alabama housewife (Kathy Bates), who becomes obsessed with Idgie and Ruth, and ultimately finds inspiration in their story.
Julie & Julia
2009 PG-13 123 minutes
Amy Adams stars in this truth-inspired tale as Julie Powell, who decides to enliven her uneventful life by cooking all 524 recipes outlined in Julia Child's culinary classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Based on Powell's book Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen, director Nora Ephron's heartwarming dramedy also stars Meryl Streep as legendary chef Child, for which she won a Golden Globe.
Kings of Pastry
2009 NR 84 minutes
Acclaimed documentarians D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus venture inside the deliciously cutthroat Meilleur Ouvrier de France, the legendary French pastry competition, to capture this fascinating account of what it takes to be the best pâtissier. Held every four years, the contest separates not only the yolks from the whites but the amateurs from the artisans. Renowned chefs from around the world let their tempers fly as they vie for the crown.
La Grande Bouffe
(The Big Feast) 1973 NC-17 130 minutes
Bored with modern living, four middle-aged friends -- a pilot (Marcello Mastroianni), a judge (Philippe Noiret), a television star (Michel Piccoli) and a chef (Ugo Tognazzi) -- embark on a gluttonous weekend of food and fornication that's to die for. Italian director Marco Ferreri scored his greatest global success with this darkly amusing allegory, which nabbed the Cannes Film Festival's International Critics Award.
Like Water for Chocolate
(Como Agua Para Chocolate) 1992 R 105 minutes
Passionate Tita (Lumi Cavazos) is in love with Pedro (Marco Leonardi), but her controlling mother (Regina Torné) forbids her from marrying him. So when Pedro marries her sister, Tita throws herself into her cooking -- and discovers she can transfer her emotions through the food she prepares. A feast for the senses, this magical romance from director Alfonso Arau was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and a Golden Globe.
Man v. Food
2008-2010 TV-G Seasons 1-3
In each episode of this Travel Channel series, host Adam Richman visits a different American city, scouring every locale for its best home-grown cuisine and participating in the most notorious eating challenge in town. And in the battle of man versus food, only one can come out on top in each installment. In the series, Richman visits dining meccas like New York and New Orleans, but also out-of-the-way places like Anchorage, Tucson and Boise.
(Bella Martha) 2002 PG 106 minutes
German director Sandra Nettelbeck whips up this tragicomic tale about an uptight professional chef named Martha (Martina Gedeck), who finds her world turned upside down when she takes in her newly orphaned niece, Lina, and tries her hand at parenting. Martha's obsession with precision gourmet cooking extends to discussing recipes with her bewildered therapist (August Zirner) and verbally attacking anyone who attempts to send her food back.
1988 R 105 minutes
Reality rudely intrudes on the plans of three blue-collar, New England teens who share their dreams while slinging hash at the local pizzeria. Daisy (Julia Roberts) entertains visions of marrying into the upper crust, while levelheaded sister Kat (Annabeth Gish) wants to go to Yale. Meanwhile, wisecracking Jojo (Lili Taylor) has a man on the hook but finds that commitment cramps her style. A quirky linchpin of 1980s cinema, Mystic Pizza delivers.
2007 PG 104 minutes
In this remake of the award-winning European romantic comedy Mostly Martha, Catherine Zeta-Jones plays Kate, an emotionally fragile chef whose life is turned upside down when she becomes her niece's (Abigail Breslin) sole guardian. Kate is used to absolute control -- both in her kitchen and at home. But now she faces chaos on all fronts, as both the child and her new sous chef (Aaron Eckhart) work their way into her heart.
2008 NR 99 minutes
Three Philadelphia high school students negotiate the challenges of the inner city and the demands of their tough-minded culinary arts teacher, Wilma Stephenson, to become contenders in a citywide cooking competition. Charming and surprisingly hilarious, Jennifer Grausman and Mark Becker's inspiring, Emmy-nominated documentary showcases the heights young minds can reach, regardless of their environment, when they're expected to succeed.
1997 R 115 minutes
Traditional Sunday dinners at Mama Joe's (Irma P. Hall) turn sour when sisters Teri (Vanessa L. Williams), Bird (Nia Long) and Maxine (Vivica A. Fox) start bringing their problems to the dinner table in this ensemble comedy. When tragedy strikes, it's up to grandson Ahmad (Brandon Hammond) to pull the family together and put the soul back into the family's weekly gatherings. Michael Beach, Mekhi Phifer, Jeffrey D. Sams and Mel Jackson co-star.
A celebration of the role of food in Japanese culture, acclaimed director Juzo Itami's hit satire was dubbed the first "noodle western" for its delightful parody of American Westerns and Japanese samurai films. Tampopo follows a young widow (Nobuki Miiyamoto) who runs a small noodle restaurant in Tokyo and Goro (Tsutomu Yamazaki), a cowboy hat-wearing truck driver, as they attempt to concoct the perfect bowl of ramen.
The Chinese Feast
(Jin Yu Man Tang) 1995 NR 103 minutes
Food and fisticuffs meet in a dazzling exhibition of "cook fu" when rival chefs compete in an acrobatic display, turning ordinary dishes such as beef chow fun and sweet and sour pork into culinary masterpieces. The film culminates in a 3-day cooking contest to re-create the majestic Qing Han Imperial Feast, a banquet held in the 17th century to unite a divided China.
The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover
1989 NC-17 124 minutes
Tired of her husband's boorish lifestyle and difficult attitude, the wife (Helen Mirren) of a barbaric crime boss (Michael Gambon) engages in a secret romance with a bookish patron (Alan Howard) between meals at her husband's restaurant, sneaking in liaisons while he and his thugs dine. Food, sex, murder, torture and cannibalism are the exotic fare in this beautifully filmed but brutally uncompromising modern fable.
The Mistress of Spices
2005 PG-13 95 minutes
After leaving India and moving to the United States, Tilo (Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai) sets up shop in San Francisco as the proprietor of an exotic spice store and helps her customers -- including a handsome American (Dylan McDermott) -- change their lives with just the right amount of seasoning. Paul Mayeda Berges directs this crossover romance based on the book by award-winning writer Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.
The Ramen Girl
2008 PG-13 102 minutes
When her boyfriend leaves her high and dry in Tokyo, spoiled American tourist Abby (Brittany Murphy) finds solace in a neighborhood ramen noodle house run by a cantankerous old chef (Toshiyuki Nishida), who agrees to take her on as an apprentice cook. But will the dirty grunt work and endless criticism drive Abby away before she discovers the serene beauty in the perfect bowl of soup -- and in herself? Robert Allan Ackerman directs this comedy.
After he gets passed over for promotion, haute cuisine sous chef Samir (Aasif Mandvi) quits to pursue his dream of cooking in Paris, but an emergency forces him to take over his family's shabby Indian restaurant in Queens. Taxi driver-turned-chef Akbar (Naseeruddin Shah) shares his passion for Indian food with Samir, whose romance with fellow chef Carrie (Jess Weixler) fuels his desire to prove himself and save the restaurant.
2001 PG-13 103 minutes
In director María Ripoll's bilingual drama, widower Martin Naranjo (Hector Elizondo) is a Los Angeles restaurateur with a booming business and three headstrong daughters (Jacqueline Obradors, Tamara Mello and Elizabeth Peña), who are all on the verge of leaving the house to pursue their individual destinies. He knows he must let go, but things get even more complicated when brassy neighbor Hortensia (Raquel Welch) sets her sights on Martin.
2000 PG-13 103 minutes
An upcoming visit from Louis XIV (Julian Sands) could bring great political and financial reward to a poor, gout-stricken prince, who entrusts his meticulous and versatile steward, Vatel (Gérard Depardieu), to plan three days of festivities for the king's stay. Co-starring Uma Thurman as the king's mistress, this period drama features Oscar-nominated art direction, witty dialogue from Tom Stoppard and a sumptuous score from Ennio Morricone.
2007 PG-13 104 minutes
Keri Russell stars as Jenna, a waitress whose fabulous pies are about the only sweet ingredient in an otherwise dreary existence. That is, until an unwanted pregnancy breeds unexpected romance between Jenna and an attractive doctor. Written by director and co-star Adrienne Shelly (who was murdered shortly before the film's selection for Sundance), this charmer is a frank and funny examination of the fears brought on by impending motherhood.
2000 PG-13 109 minutes
This multicultural comedy-drama set in Los Angeles's middle-class environs paints an intriguing portrait of family tensions as four ethnic clans -- Latino, black, Jewish and Asian -- get ready for Thanksgiving dinner. The intertwining tales follow the families as minor frustrations escalate into heated battles and skeletons come out of the closet. Mercedes Ruehl, Kyra Sedgwick, Alfre Woodard, Dennis Haysbert and Joan Chen lead the superb cast.
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
1971 G 100 minutes
Eccentric candy man Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder) prompts a worldwide frenzy when he announces that golden tickets hidden inside five of his delicious candy bars will admit their lucky holders (including Peter Ostrum and Jack Albertson) into his top-secret confectionary. But does Wonka have an agenda hidden amid a world of Oompa Loompas and chocolate rivers? Mel Stuart directs this Oscar-nominated fantasy based on Roald Dahl's award-winning book.
A Hot Dog Program
1996 NR 60 minutes
From Anchorage to Atlanta, Americans are obsessed with hot dogs -- a passion Rick Sebak explores in this documentary on the wonderful wieners at the top of the snack chain. Providing a look at how hot dogs are made and the folks who devour them, as well as a tour of some of the country's best wiener joints -- where you can get everything from a deep-fried dog in New Jersey to a "snappy slay dog" in the South -- this show is a dog lover's delight.
All In This Tea
A lifelong obsession with tea takes aficionado David Lee Hoffman on a journey to the tea plantations and factories of China. Celebrated documentarian Les Blank follows him, using his hand-held camera to create an intimate, evocative film about the tastes, scents and, ultimately, people behind the best tea in the world.
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
2005-2010 TV-PG Seasons 1-9
This Emmy-winning series from the Travel Channel tags along with outspoken celebrity chef, best-selling author and culinary adventurer Anthony Bourdain as he scours the globe in search of all the edible treasures the world has to offer. Despite his irascible nature, Bourdain plunges with gusto into each new exotic dining experience, tasting regional treats from far-flung destinations and savoring local culture along the way.
(Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern) 2007-2010 NR Seasons 1-5
Embark on a wild gastronomical world tour with daredevil diner Andrew Zimmern, who puts his iron stomach to the test in each episode by swallowing all manner of unthinkable entrees such as live worms, suckling pig brains, water rodents and piranha. This Travel Channel reality series whisks viewers away to a variety of exotic countries, including Morocco, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Mongolia and the Philippines.
Discover China: A Tale of Tofu
2001 NR 52 minutes
It's pale, slightly spongy and packed with protein. But tofu, a soya bean curd produced by coagulating soy milk and pressing the curds into sturdy blocks, is also tasty -- and one of the unrivaled staples of the Chinese diet. This fascinating documentary explores the history, origins and staggering variety of this nutritious vegetarian food, from the black tofu of Nanking to the smoked tofu of Guizhou.
Eat This New York
2004 NR 80 minutes
Documentarians Andrew Rossi and Kate Novack intercut scenes of the trials and tribulations of two young restaurateurs with interviews with some of New York City's most successful and famous restaurateurs in this engaging film. Daniel Boulud (Cafe Boulud), Keith McNally (Balthazar) and Danny Meyer (Gramercy Tavern) tell of their humble beginnings and how they were able to make it in a city where most eateries close within five years.
Produced by Kristin Canty, a mother and chapter leader for the Weston A Price Foundation, Farmageddon documents the quiet war undertaken by federal and state governments against small family farms. Most particularly, the film documents farm raids against raw milk producers, co-ops and the producers of nutrient-dense, natural foods. Horrified by raids conducted without cause against raw milk producers, cheesemakers and natural food cooperatives, Kristin took action. She traveled the country, discussing farm raids with the very people effected the most: farmers and their families. (Not available until Fall/winter 2011).
2002 NR 58 minutes
Nominated for an Environmental Media Award, this eye-opening documentary explores the United States' food production system from the organic farming of the Green Movement to the genetically engineered food of the Biotech Revolution. Through fascinating archival footage and interviews with farmers, scientists, government officials and activists, Fed Up! provides a detailed and sometimes disturbing overview of contemporary food production.
Food Beware: The French Organic Revolution
(Nos Enfants Nous Accuseront) 2009 NR 112 minutes
Jean-Paul Jaud's documentary visits the Barjac village in France, where the mayor has mandated an all-organic menu for the lunch program in the local school. Farmers, parents, kids and health care advocates discuss the impact of the decision. School and government officials also weigh in on why people are dying of cancer in ever-increasing numbers, the food industry's role, the use of pesticides, nutrition and local sustainability.
Discover the disturbing problems inherent in today's food system with this insightful documentary, which profiles chef Alice Waters's efforts to promote local, organic and sustainable agriculture as a delicious alternative to mass-produced fare. Narrated by actor Justin Kirk, this eye-opening examination of the food we eat features compelling interviews with author Michael Pollan and celebrity chefs such as Wolfgang Puck.
Food for the Ancestors
Mexico's beautiful and mysterious Days of the Dead festival honors ancestors and deceased loved ones in a somber celebration, filled with music, costumes and plenty of mouthwatering food. Set in Puebla, one of the great culinary centers of Mexico, this delectable documentary takes in the festival while nibbling on treasured national dishes such as mole poblano, as well as such ancient delicacies as chapulines -- or grasshoppers.
2008 PG 94 minutes
Drawing on Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation and Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma, director Robert Kenner's Oscar-nominated documentary explores the food industry's detrimental effects on our health and environment. Kenner spotlights the men and women who are working to reform an industry rife with monopolies, questionable interpretations of laws and subsidies, political ties and rising rates of E. coli outbreaks.
2008 NR 80 minutes
With a staggering number of Americans suffering from obesity and other food-related maladies, this film takes a timely and hard-hitting look at how the food we eat is helping or hurting our health, and what we can do to live (and eat) better. Nutritionists, naturopaths, scientists, doctors, medical journalists and more weigh in on everything from using food as medicine to the value of organic food and the safety of the food we consume.
2008 NR 2 discs
Your taste buds will salivate as you survey the finest foods on America's diverse menu, from the best beef in the country to such culinary oddities as barbecued spaghetti and bacon-maple doughnuts. Other fare includes a tasty slice at Pepe's Pizzeria Napoletana in New Haven, Conn.; a sizzling steak at Sodolak's Original Country Inn in Snook, Texas; and a scoop of Peachy Paterno at Penn State University's campus creamery.
Food Stamped is an informative and humorous documentary film following a couple as they attempt to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet on a food stamp budget. Through their adventures they consult with members of U.S. Congress, food justice organizations, nutrition experts, and people living on food stamps to take a deep look at America’s broken food system. (62 minutes)
Forks Over Knives
Focusing on the research of two food scientists, this earnest documentary reveals that despite broad advances in medical technology, the popularity of modern processed foods has led to epidemic rates of obesity, diabetes and other diseases.
Garlic is as Good as Ten Mothers
This ode to all things garlic is a sumptuous, loving tribute to the smelliest bulb that we eat. The famed Les Blank alternates visceral shots of garlic dishes being made with testimony about its health and culinary virtues from garlic experts in a passionate portrayal of all things pungent.
On the Pine Ridge Reservation, 35-year-old Beau LeBeau is remembered as one of the greatest high school star athletes in South Dakota. He could often be found running through the Badlands at Thunder Valley, but now he is having trouble even walking these same hills. Beau's many years of poor diet and lack of exercise have caused obesity, weighing in at 333 pounds. Beau is not alone, as poor diet and lifestyle habits have led to an explosion of obesity and related illness in American culture. On Indian Reservations, poverty and general trauma have compounded these issues.
In the beginning of filming Good Meat, Beau discovers that he has Type II Diabetes. Several members of Beau's family are obese, and his mother died too young from Diabetes complications. This real-time film documents Beau's journey as he confronts his own health issues head-on by adopting a traditional Lakota diet centered on Indigenous foods such as buffalo, along with regular exercise. He rapidly sheds pounds and encourages others to do the same despite their rebuttals. The film follows both Beau's struggles and triumphs as he works with Dr. Kevin Weiland and nutritionist Kibbe Conti (Oglala Lakota) to regain his health.
Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie: Season 1
No reservations are required for this globe-trotting -- and mouthwatering -- series, which takes viewers on an epicurean odyssey of the world's greatest cuisine, from Barcelona to Boston to Beijing. Highlights include episodes on the secrets of curing, the story of cheese, the magic of indigenous ingredients, environmentally responsible gastronomy, Brazilian fusion cuisine and the new frontier of molecular cooking.
How to Cook Your Life
2007 PG-13 93 minutes
German filmmaker Doris Dörrie documents a summer in the life of renowned Zen practitioner and cook Edward Espe Brown as he teaches culinary classes in Zen centers in Austria and California, revealing the role food plays in our bodies and spirits. Informative, provocative and funny, Brown serves up a unique combination of inspiring wisdom and kitchen skills that will raise even the most demanding foodie to new spiritual and gastronomic heights.
I Like Killing Flies
2004 R 79 minutes
In this quirky documentary, filmmaker Matt Mahurin peers into Shopsin's, a hole-in-the-wall Greenwich Village restaurant that's been dutifully serving comfort food to satisfied customers for more than 30 years. Lording over the eatery is hilarious, ersatz philosopher/owner Kenny Shopsin, who caters to his regulars while dispensing tough love with his okra chowder. And he's just as likely to throw his customers out as he is to take their orders.
Killer at Large: Why Obesity is America's Greatest Threat
2008 NR 102 minutes
Obesity causes 110,000 American deaths each year and plays a role in one-third of all cancer deaths. Yet, despite ballooning concerns, little is being done on the public policy level, as this probing documentary explains. Exploring the issue from individual, political, scientific and cultural perspectives, the film features appearances by Bill Clinton, Ralph Nader, Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Surgeon General Richard Carmona and others.
2007 NR 90 minutes
In Aaron Woolf's thought-provoking documentary, friends Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis move back to America's Corn Belt to plant an acre of the nation's most-grown and most-subsidized grain and follow their crop into the U.S. food supply. What they learn about genetically modified seeds, powerful herbicides and the realities of modern farming calls into question government subsidies, the fast-food lifestyle and the quality of what we eat.
2005 NR 85 minutes
Using carefully reenacted courtroom scenes, director Franny Armstrong brings the other trial of the century to life, chronicling the world-famous libel suit brought by fast-food franchise McDonald's against British activists Helen Steel and Dave Morris. Far from focusing on hamburgers and fries, this fascinating documentary tells the story of two ordinary folks who endure a Big Mac attack of epic proportions -- just for asking a simple question.
Million Calorie March: The Movie (2008)
American documentary film directed by, co-produced by and starring Gary Michael Marino, an author, speaker and anti-obesity activist. The film follows Marino as he embarks on a 1200 mile fundraiser and awareness walk, the Million Calorie March, from Jacksonville, Florida to Boston, Massachusetts. The walk took 100 days and was designed to raise money and awareness for the causes of childhood obesity and healthy lifestyles. Million Calorie March: The Movie documents the Million Calorie March awareness and fundraising campaign and incorporates stories from Marino’s 2005 book, "Big & Tall Chronicles: Misadventures Of A Lifelong Food Addict." Through flashbacks to his childhood, Marino documents the influences that led to his struggles with weight loss and his personal battle to overcome food addiction. The purpose behind Marino’s film is the increasing awareness of the spread of obesity throughout the United States and inspiring people to dig deep to fix themselves.
My Big Fat Diet
Directed by Mary Bissell, My Big, Fat Diet chronicles how the Namgis First Nation goes cold turkey and gives up sugar and junk food for a year in a diet study sponsored by Health Canada and the University of British Columbia. Through the stories of six people, it documents a medical and cultural experiment that may be the first of its kind in North America.
My Big Fat Diet, like Super Size Me, looks at the problem of obesity, through the eyes of a man who straddles two cultures, Western and First Nations. It also looks at the history and present-day status of traditional food gathering, and the link between individual health and that of the immediate environment.
Our Daily Bread
(Unser Täglich Brot)
2005 NR 92 minutes
Bypassing the human factor, Nikolaus Geyrhalter's provocative documentary offers an intensely clinical look at the machinery of industrial food production. Geyrhalter focuses his lens on high-tech aspects of agriculture, using a rich mix of film techniques to capture machines in action. Humans, animals and crops appear incidentally, with droning conveyor belts, automated crop dusters and other machinery in starring roles.
Seasoned with Spirit (Educational Ed., Five Part Series of 27 minutes each)
Loretta Barrett Oden (Citizen Potawatomi) hosts a series that introduces us to healthy Native food, culture, and history. Filmed in visually stunning locations, this series travels from the Gulf Coast, to the Great Plains, the Pacific Northwest, and the Great Lakes region. Native American Public Television. Producers: Matt and Renard Cohen.
Super Size Me
2004 PG-13 98 minutes
On the heels of recent lawsuits against McDonald's, director Morgan Spurlock takes a hilarious and often terrifying look at the effects of fast food on the human body, using himself as the proverbial guinea pig. For one month, Spurlock eats nothing but McDonald's, ordering everything on the menu and "super-sizing" his order whenever asked. The result is a sobering examination of the line between personal and corporate responsibility.
The Meaning of Food
2004 NR 180 minutes
So many cultural and religious celebrations center on food, but how did this come to be? Discover the rich and varied history of American dining in this three-episode series that has filmmakers sitting at the table with guests from across the country who bring to the discussion opinions and experiences informed by their own cultural expectations. What results is a fascinating documentary that leaves viewers with (pun intended!) much to digest.
The Future of Food
2004 NR 90 minutes
Before compiling your next grocery list, you might want to watch filmmaker Deborah Koons Garcia's eye-opening documentary, which sheds light on a shadowy relationship between agriculture, big business and government. By examining the effects of biotechnology on the nation's smallest farmers, the film reveals the unappetizing truth about genetically modified foods: You could unknowingly be serving them for dinner.
The Price of Sugar
Paul Newman narrates this documentary about the thousands of dispossessed Haitians in the Dominican Republic who work grueling hours harvesting sugarcane and one man's attempt to help them secure decent working and living conditions. Filmmaker Bill Haney captures the plantations' shockingly subpar conditions and the efforts of Spanish priest Father Christopher Hartley to bring clean water, health care, housing and education to the workers.
Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?
(Seven parts, first 56 minutes, rest 29 minutes each) http://www.unnaturalcauses.org/about_the_series.php
The opening episode “In Sickness and in Wealth” provides an exceptional overview of issues addressed more deeply in the six shorter segments. The entire series is highly recommended. This series could serve as the basis for an entire economics, government, health policy, or sociology course in high school or college.
Episode Four, entitled “Bad Sugar,” details how the Tohono O’odham and Akimel O’odham (Pima) have been impacted by the destruction of traditional food production, by thewater loss from surrounding settler communities, by government commodity programs, and by access to majority culture food stores and restaurants. These people have the highest rates of adult onset diabetes in the world.With water rights restored and efforts to produce culturally appropriate food, there is hope. See the listing under web sites for this title and for the Tohono O’odham Community Action. Produced by California Newsreel with Vital Pictures, Inc.
We Feed the World
Austrian filmmaker Erwin Wagenhofer takes the food industry to task in this thought-provoking documentary that looks at the effects of mechanization and globalization on fishermen, farmers, consumers and the environment. Traveling to Brazil and throughout Europe, Wagenhofer details some shocking food production processes used by multinational corporations to maximize their profits -- regardless of the cost to humanity.