Archive for the 'Film' Category

Hands That Feed – A Film About Haiti’s Agricultural Crisis

A new film is being produced on Haiti’s crisis, its roots and its future.  Hands That Feed has made a short intro video about their project in order to try to raise the necessary funding for the film’s production.  The film will explore questions about what the real problems facing Haiti are, and from the video it’s clear that the recent earthquake was simply an exacerbation of pre-existing problems.

A Zombie’s Day of Atonement

By Adam Liss

Hello, my name is Adam, and I’m about to hit you with some contradictions, so please bear with me.  I recently finished building a website as part of the New Jewish Filmmaking Project.  However, there was no film involved.  The website is about Judaism and environmentalism.  It’s also about zombies.  Like I said, please bear with me.

What’s Organic About Organic, A New Film on an Important Topic


What’s Organic About Organic asks what the implications of growing food organically or not actually are.  This hour-long film covers a lot of ground.   Its short length and breadth of issues make this movie a good discussion-starter amongst peers, family, and friends.   Watching What’s Organic About Organic left me with a sense that we don’t necessarily know the whole story about conventionally grown food or the benefits of organic,  it made me want to learn more and be a more educated consumer.

Getting Off The Bottle

This week, as Earth Day came and went and I attended a fair here or an Earth celebration there, it also donned on me that Spring is here!

So, beyond my environmental excursions, I also attended of variety of events held on my very own Columbia University. Yet, what I found was an inability to fully appreciate some of the events due to the ubiquity of plastic water bottles. Some may laugh, but I find myself becoming more and more annoyed with these obnoxious bottles that I suddenly see everywhere. As I have previously written about bottled water, my awakening began when seeing the movie “Blue Gold: World Water War’s” on instant play on Netflix. Then, I really became irked when seeing “The Story of Bottled Water,” which I posted on this blog.

Watch Food, Inc. for free on PBS

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If you haven’t had a chance to see Food, Inc., carpe diem! PBS recently aired it on POV, television’s oldest showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV has also put the entire film on their site for free viewing for a limited time. It’s only up until April 28, so check it out today!

*FRESH* is Coming to the Big Screen in NYC!

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After thousands of community screenings and grassroots word-of-mouth, you can finally watch FRESH at the theater. We’re opening at the Quad Cinema Friday April 9th. In the spirit of our grassroots model, we’ve organized a long list of how-to workshops, farm to table dinners, lectures and tastings just for you – including two lectures this Sunday by Joel Salatin (details below)

So pick up your fork, get your hands in some dirt and discover new ways to support real food in the city! Almost all FRESH Week event tickets include a redeemable voucher for a FRESH movie ticket at the Quad, so what are you waiting for? GET FRESH NYC!

Below is just a sampling of the events we have planned.

One NJG Farmer

Meet Rachel Tali Kaplan, a young Jewish woman who is farming organically on 2 acres in Georgia. Warm, funny and intelligent, Rachel explores the challenges of farming, her passion for feeding people, and the importance of sustainable agriculture in today’s world. Christine Anthony and Owen Masterson shared this short film with us:

You’re A What? from Anthony-Masterson on Vimeo.

Valentine’s Day film fest loves local foods

(A version of this post originally appeared on my D.C. Farmers Market Examiner site)

Nora Pouillon selects veggies at a farmers market.

Washington D.C.’s FRESHFARM Markets’ new year started with good news: A mini documentary about the organization would be part of Yachad‘s Our City Film Festival slated for February 14 at D.C.’s Goethe Institute. Not only that, but the film would appear alongside “Nora!” featuring a restaurateur who embraces local and organic food.

“I’m thrilled to have a film about FRESHFARM Markets and to document in some way how the markets were created and what vision was behind it,” said FRESHFARM co-director and co-founder Ann Yonkers.

Yachad, which mobilizes the Washington-area Jewish community to repair and rebuild lower-income neighborhoods, selected 14 films for the third annual festival and divided them into four categories—Our Body, Our Mind, Our Heart, and Our Soul. “FRESHFARM Markets” will appear in the body category and is, of course, about FRESHFARM and its nine producer-only markets in the D.C. area. Their markets include such favorites as the Dupont Circle farmers market and the farmers market at the White House.

*FRESH* at Green Screens @ Lincoln Center this Tuesday

The other day my boyfriend and I were enjoying a Sunday walk in Brooklyn when we ran into his friend Ana, her partner and their adorable new baby.  Among the introductions and pleasantries she mentioned that she was distributing her film FRESH.  “Here, tell me what you think of it,” she said handing me a copy, knowing I was a food writer.

So, one night a while later my boyfriend and I tucked into the sofa and watched FRESH, the new film by Ana Sofia Joanes.  As someone who has seen Food Inc and has read a lot of Michael Pollan, the material was not new to me, however I found the material’s presentation (forgive the pun) fresh.  I had found Food Inc to be a good film, but heavy on the propaganda.  I felt that FRESH got its message across in a far more even-handed way.  The film invoked a pretty good discussion, and I was happy to see on their website they had some additional educational materials and even a call for recipes.  But you don’t have to be a Jew and the Carrot writer or have chance encounters with the director to see this film.  If you live in the New York area there will be a screening this Tuesday.

Raising a Good Loaf

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Remember back in the day when you told someone you ate mostly vegetables and organic food and they told you they only ate food that tasted good? You’d ask them what wasn’t good about the organic food they’d tasted, and usually they’d describe some sort of hard, seedy, lumpy thing. They’d use the word “brick”.  They’d mime chewing like a mouth on novacain. I’m sorry to tell you, but they’d probably been eating bread at my house.

Here’s what happened: I decided maybe seven years ago that I was going to learn how to make bread, except I didn’t really understand why you would spend all that time shoving it around on a table and punching it  if you didn’t have to. Luckily, there was the Cuban bread recipe in a copy of the New York Times cookbook. That no-knead, no-nonsense bread was an excellent gateway drug, but it was also kind of flat; and when you make it with whole wheat or spelt, it ends up looking sort of like a large, good-smelling cow pie.

Movie Chat: Julie & Julia

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Fans of Julia Child would love the new film, Julie and Julia, as the director, Nora Ephron, depicted post-WWII Paris in bright, sunny colors and without reference to deprivations, electrical shortages or municipal strikes.  While I agree with A.O. Scott, the NYTimes film critic, that the cards were stacked against Amy Adams who plays the young memoirist, Julie Powell—the best scenes had Meryl Streep in it, naturally— Adams gave a fine, credible performance.  The director had eliminated the unpleasant parts of Powell’s memoir— the gratuitous cursing and the gossip about her friends’ love and sex lives— giving us a sweeter, cuter, slimmer Amy Adams-embodiment of Ms. Powell.  And 21st century New York City is unfairly  represented by industrial Queens (which does have some lovely neighborhoods after all), although there was a witty juxtaposition of an American water tower compared to the Eiffel Tower.

A Drive-Thru Review of Food, Inc.

Thanks Nina for posting the trailor of Food, Inc. last month and for folk’s comments.

I recently had the fortune to join a group of community members from Boston’s Moishe/Kavod House Food Justice Campaign for a screening of the film. Here’s my review of the film–the good, the bad, and the ugly:

  • I was first struck that the film would make an excellent education tool for students in grades 5-12 and beyond. Robert Kenner divides the film into chapters that do a nice job framing and connecting the dots on the key industries in our current food system–livestock issues, genetically modified organisms (GMO), the hidden costs of food and the ubiquity of corn. Showing this in health, science, political science or other classes would be a great way to provide students with a primer on where food comes from as well as a powerful, if at times graphic, illustration of what’s wrong with it.

Can You Eat A Healthy Well-Balanced Diet On A Food Stamp Budget?

In an era where just about everyone is counting pennies as well as calories, Berkeley-based husband and wife filmmaking duo Shira and Yoav Potash recently embarked on the “Food Stamp Challenge” where they ate on roughly one dollar per meal and a documented their low-budget food adventure in the film Food Stamped.  The film was screened last year at the Hazon Food Conference.  But you can catch the film this weekend at the JCC in Berkeley, CA.

An Ode to Seltzer


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There is indeed something Jewish about seltzer.

From whence exactly this Jewishness derives, I’m not so sure, but I do know one thing: I LOVE MY BUBBLY WATER.  And so, I give you my most recent episode of Cookin’ titled, “Fo’ Shizzle My Fizzle.”

To see more videos visit cookinshow.wordpress.com but for now, drink up!