Kernel Rating (out of 5):
MPAA Rating: PG Length: 84 minutes
Age Appropriate for: 10+. Some cursing, and the serious social ramifications of our nation’s problems with food, health, and obesity. I’m not sure very young children will understand this, but I think older elementary school students and above can grasp the issues and why they’re a problem.
One of the first great documentaries of the year, ‘A Place at the Table’ is a fairly frightening, thought-provoking look at the cycle of obesity and food inequity in the United States. Directors Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush tackle questions about the price of food, the sickness of our children, and how we can fix it—and although the film sometimes feels like a public service announcement, it’s still one you should watch.
By Roxana Hadadi
When I was growing up, I had a very specific weekend ritual. My parents treated my brother and I to McDonald’s every Saturday for lunch, after taking us to Wheaton Public Library in Montgomery County, Md., for a few hours so we could check out tons of books and spend our weekly allowances at the used bookstore in the basement of the library. I remember it being distinctly awesome, but also that I never really seemed to do anything else on Saturdays. I ate my Filet of Fish or Quarter Pounder or whatever, and then we went home and I napped and read and napped some more, and maybe I was active, but probably not really.
My parents stopped the McDonald’s part of that ritual when we reached middle school and they started getting concerned about hormones and preservatives in our food, but that cycle—of becoming so accustomed to something that you don’t understand how it’s hurting you—is at the heart of the documentary “A Place at the Table.” Why have we grown complacent about the obesity plaguing our children? Why don’t we lobby for more affordable food costs, for fruits and vegetables that won’t break our budgets? Directors Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush consider those questions in their documentary, which hits viewers with both shocking statistics about food in the United States and also highlights the personal narratives of various people struggling to feed their families. Get ready to be depressed.