Participant Media (Food, Inc.; An Inconvenient Truth; Waiting for "Superman") dishes up another cinematic classroom lesson with this incisive examination of the hunger problem in the U.S., where 50 million citizens go to bed hungry. Directors Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush open A Place at the Table with achingly beautiful shots of agrarian America, its fertile lands brimming with crops—and then hit us with horrific statistics, obesity joined at the diseased hip with malnutrition and starvation. The well-paced documentary cuts between individual stories and talking-head experts: the single mom, forced to feed her kids junk food; a well-meaning congressman who lived on a food-stamp diet for a week; a winsome young girl unable to concentrate in class because her empty stomach hurts; impassioned comments from actor Jeff Bridges (who formed End Hunger Network nearly 30 years ago). “If another country was doing this to our kids, we would be at war,” he says. A superb companion piece to the local documentary American Winter (premiering March 18 on HBO), A Place at the Table likewise examines why the government chooses to subsidize big corporations over social-service programs. Together, the films pose the question: How many documentaries will it take before our lawmakers pay attention?
- Running Time:
- Release Date: Tuesday, March 12, 2013
- MPAA Rating: PG
- Critic's Score: B+
- Watch the trailer