Food for Thought: Films
Food for Thought is a thought provoking series of films and talks about food and sustainability. For more information or if you have suggestions for great films or speakers, call Lucy Young 54724842, email email@example.com
Films are screened about once a month on Sundays at 4.30pm at the Ray Bradfield Room, Victory Park, Castlemaine.
Thanks to the R E Ross Trust for supporting our Food for Thought in 2012
Stay posted for the 2013 season!
2012 in review
In 2012 we showed 10 inspiring films with an average audience of 25 people per screening. Even more inspiring was that an average of 17 people per screening stayed on to discuss what they had viewed and ways that they might take individual or collective action on food security. There have been a range of reported actions, from a local business deciding to establish a small community garden in their backyard, to people participating in a shire wide forum and initiatives that explore alternative models of food supply, such as CSA (community supported agriculture).
The support of RE Ross Trust for Food for Thought was gratefully received and we aim to offer a third season of Food for Thought in 2013 with a focus on speakers – local and further afield, who are doing innovative and inspiring things with food – our shire is abundant with such folk!
Food for Thought Series: Film series 2012
In Transition 2.0 (Transition Network, 2012), the new film from Transition Network, capturing inspiring stories of Transition initiatives around the world, responding to uncertain times with creativity, solutions and ‘engaged optimism’.
Sunday 22 July, 4.30pm at the Ray Bradfield Room
Ingredients (Robert Bates, 2009) The local food movement takes root. American food is in a state of crisis, but a movement to put good food back on the table is emerging. What began 30 years ago with chefs demanding better flavor, has inspired consumers to seek relationships with nearby farmers. This is local food.
Sunday 19 August, 4.30pm at the Ray Bradfield Room
From the Ground Up (Su Friedrich, 2008) With few words and no polemics, From the Ground Up shows how an ordinary cup of coffee occupies center stage in the world economy. Traveling with the filmmaker from Guatemala to South Carolina to New York City and seeing each phase of coffee production unfold—the growing, picking, processing, distribution, brewing and selling—one comes to understand that products we use have passed through the hands, and lives, of countless people in numerous countries. From the Ground Up uses minimal narration and text because it asks the viewer to observe the chain of production, from a hillside in Guatemala covered with hundreds of coffee seedlings to a pushcart in Manhattan serving coffee to early morning workers. And once in a while, bits of the song “Java Jive” are repeated to mimic the relentless and monotonous nature of most coffee production work and to underscore the fact that this “lovable” product comes at a price for the people who make it available to us. As the world’s second most-traded commodity after oil, it’s all about the coffee, and about everything else we consume, consume, consume . . .
Sunday 16 September, 4.30pm at the Ray Bradfield Room
Growing Change (Simon Cunich, 2011) While Venezuela once had a strong agriculture sector it was left behind as the country became a major oil exporting economy in the 20th century. After decades of urbanisation, government neglect for agriculture, and dependent on food imports, Venezuela faced a food crisis of its own. In many ways the country was a microcosm of the challenges facing much of the world today. But the documentary takes us through a new food system as it’s being constructed. We meet farmers who are gaining access to land for the first time and working in cooperatives to break the country’s reliance on imports. We meet cocoa producers who are now protected against being paid below the minimum price and are now involved in the local processing of chocolate rather than just exporting raw beans. We head out to sea with fisherfolk who are benefiting from new regulations that ban industrial trawling. In the chaotic metropolis of Caracas we find urban gardens thriving and supplementing diets with fresh organic produce. We go inside shops where the urban poor have access to affordable food. It’s all part of a country-wide process towards “food sovereignty”, driven by communities and the government. At the core of the process are principles of social justice and sustainability.
Sunday 21 October, 4.30pm at the Ray Bradfield Room
Our Seeds: Seeds Blong Yumi (Seed Savers, 2008) Seed Savers directors, Michel and Jude Fanton, shot this film in eleven countries of Europe, Asia and Oceania. It features Pacific islanders who face great challenges: replacing innumerable varieties of root staples with modern hybrids that require pesticides and chemical fertilisers; importing low-quality starch thereby risking losing their resilient food crops.
Sunday 18 November, 4.30pm at the Ray Bradfield Room
Beyond Organic (John de Graaf, 2000) Fairview Gardens is an urban farm located in Goleta, California, right in the middle of some of the most expensive real estate in the U.S. Managed for the past two decades by visionary farmer/photographer/author, Michael Ableman, this 12-acre organic farm has become a model of sustainable food production and community involvement, as well as an inspiration for thousands of people all over the world. The farm battled to survive in the face of rapid suburban development. The film explores the efforts of Ableman and his staff to diversify the farm, open it to educational tours for thousands of people – especially schoolchildren – and defend it against angry neighbours, hostile public officials and developers eager to re-zone the land for condominiums. It draws a sharp contrast between community supported agriculture and conventional chemical farming, and it calls on organic farmers to remember basic principles, including fair employment practices, as their farms grow in size and power. Beyond Organic has a happy ending. Other neighbours – and eventually the entire Santa Barbara community – rallied around Fairview Gardens and raised $800,000 to preserve it as a land trust, and as a source of inspiration, for future generations.
Sunday 9 December, 4.30pm at the Ray Bradfield Room
On Sunday 1st April we were no fools to be watching the film Queen of the Sun. A crowd of over 30 turned out to view the film, enjoy great soup provided by CAKE and be inspired. One participant sent me this letter that night:
Thanks for the film this afternoon. It was important to hear about the not often publicised predicament of bees, but also what we as humans can do about it. The monoculture of almond trees in California and trucking bees in to the farms was very interesting to hear about because the exact same thing is happening in Robinvale (where I grew up). My dad used to work at the big almond farm there so that’s how I know. The almond trees go for miles and miles, almost all the way from Robinvale to Swan Hill! He said that they truck bees in from right around Australia. I had an strange thing happen to me when I got home after watching the film. I took some washing off the line and brought it inside. I got a huge fright when I was folding it and putting it away. There was a bee crawling on one of my handkerchiefs! Maybe the bees are trying to tell me something . . .
The film urged us to take action – please click on the image to see a few suggestions about how we can support bees – and ourselves to be able to continue to grow and eat food!