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Movie review: 'Place at the Table' documents problems of hunger in America

Published March 1, 2013 11:14 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The facts presented in the documentary "A Place at the Table" (which debuted at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival under the title "Finding North") are harsh: One in six Americans don't get enough to eat on a regular basis, and what they can afford is usually junk — largely because U.S. farm policy is weighted away from fruits and vegetables and toward grains that are converted into processed food.

The movie explores the link between hunger and obesity (because people can't afford to buy healthy food, or because their neighborhoods only have convenience stores) and the limits of government aid and charitable donations.

Filmmakers Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush present these facts in a highly polished package, weaving real-life stories of people struggling to find sufficient food with interviews of policy experts and celebrities who have made hunger their cause, including Jeff Bridges and "Top Chef" judge Tom Colicchio. The urgent message is conveyed with lucid animation, beautiful cinematography and haunting songs by T Bone Burnett and The Civil Wars.

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'A Place at the Table'

Opens Friday, March 1, at the Broadway Centre Cinemas; rated PG for thematic elements and brief mild language; 94 minutes.