A Place at the Table - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

A Place at the Table Reviews

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August 1, 2013
hungry children - another blight on this supposed 'greatest country on earth'. the numbers are staggering. the lives affected real. we need to do more. much much more. one of the most important points this documentary raises is that we do not suffer from food scarcity - but rather from poor policy and a morally corrupt government. sound familiar..?
½ August 1, 2013
An eye opener, the richest country dealing with child hunger...
July 28, 2013
Shocking documentary about hunger in USA that affects 50 million people. See how the fact that a cheeseburger costs less than a peach affects people living in US.
July 27, 2013
Finally getting to watch this doc!
July 27, 2013
Stunning hurtful truth. The documentary is full of great insights. Everyone should watch it. You will feel that weight of our today's food situation.
July 22, 2013
50 millions americans exist without enough to eat in a nation with more than enough food!!
July 21, 2013
They did a good job with the documentary, however I don't know if it will reach its target audience which isn't people like me. I already know about the food issues in America and feel passionately about them. We need to reach out to those who don't know about it and I don't know that this film will reach them.
½ July 16, 2013
A Place at the Table, documentary film directed by Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush. Jeff Bridges (founder of End Hunger Network in 1983 - been working for past 30 years -also been spokesperson for the campaign called Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry) and Raj Patel British-American journalist. The documentary was nominated for Grand Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival.

The documentary is critically brilliant analysis on hunger faced by 50 million population of the United States living under working or substandard life - those who mostly rely on food stamps. Hunger rose to record high 49% under Bush Jr. administration from 33% under Clinton administration. Withdrawal of proper and apparent funding has led unavailability of facility at schools where children receive federally funded foods (mostly at cheaper rates) during breakfast and lunch; the deviation of funds goes to military expenditure, 2% tax cuts for rich and other such government liabilities. Documentary also speaks about the form of diseases these children become vulnerable to, due to hunger.

Beautifully well-made, riveting, as well as truthfully shivering. These are visible contexts of poverty-struck 50 million struggling nation in richest country in the world (full of foods scattered across the land of opportunity). While, many films in the past have hammered hard on obesity and junk-food craze but documentary like 'A Place at the Table' is shame for those to postulate about people in the United States who go to bed with belly empty.

NOTE:
1. The Summer Food Service Program is a federally funded, i provides free meals for people 18 and younger in cities all across America. Texting program has been put in place to help connect even more kids to meals.

2. No Kid Hungry's Cooking Matters program ensures kids are getting healthy meals at home by empowering low-income families with the skills to shop smarter, use nutrition information and cook delicious, affordable meals.
July 16, 2013
A Place at the Table, documentary film directed by Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush. Jeff Bridges (founder of End Hunger Network in 1983 - been working for past 30 years -also been spokesperson for the campaign called Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry) and Raj Patel British-American journalist.
The documentary is critically brilliant analysis on hunger faced by 50 million population of the United States living under working or substandard life - those who mostly rely on food stamps. Hunger rose to record high 49% under Bush Jr. administration from 33% under Clinton administration. Withdrawal of proper and apparent funding has led unavailability in of facility at schools where children receive federally funded foods (mostly at cheaper rates) during breakfast and lunch; the deviation of funds goes to military expenditure, 2% tax cuts for rich and other such government liabilities. Documentary also speaks about the form of diseases these children become vulnerable to, due to hunger.
Beautifully well-made, riveting, as well as truthfully shivering. These are visible contexts of poverty-struck 50 million struggling nation in richest country in the world (full of foods scattered across the land of opportunity). While, many films in the past have hammered hard on obesity and junk-food craze but documentary like 'A Place at the Table' is shame for those to postulate about people in the United States who go to bed with belly empty.
½ July 15, 2013
A very good documentary about the state of food in our country, and our relationship with it. It reveals who really dominates its distribution, and decides what is sold in stores--large corporations.
½ July 14, 2013
Such a great film that every American should watch immediately. Instead of donating our money and resources to foreign countries to 'end starvation' why not lobby politicians to change the current policies to actually provide sustenance to those who are lacking it on our own soil? So what is food insecurity and food deserts? Which crops are subsidized by the government? Are hungry people overweight? Watch this documentary and find out. #justsayin #realist
July 12, 2013
Excellent movie. Very poignant and educational. I definitely need to get myself a copy, as well as the accompanying book to you in my courses of Sociology.
July 2, 2013
Interesting, depressing and without a lot of answers. I like that the film covered the issue from a lot of different angles, but it comes up short on solutions other than getting politicians to stop obeying lobbyists. Its sad how quickly the problem could be solved if government got its priorities straight.
July 1, 2013
Saw this top-notch documentary last night about hunger in America. Really puts together the connection between poverty and obesity.
½ June 27, 2013
Absurdly unfocused and uneven. Presents a fair problem but does not offer a single feasible solution. Full of information but lacks any sort of entertainment whatsoever. May as well have been a Powerpoint. And perhaps I'm heartless, but while it's sad that you have no job and can't feed your kids as a young single mother, nobody forced you to have kids
June 27, 2013
Shame on America for taking so much from those who have so little to subsidize corporations that pay their those same people nothing. America is top heavy with money and greed: an unsustainable situation.
½ June 8, 2013
A Place at the Table is that rare documentary feature that is so powerful and astoundingly honest that it will most likely fall victim to people politicizing it to minimize its impact. The film is about hunger and poverty in America; but what does it tell us about the hyper-partisanship in the confined walls of DC or our state capitals if these two issues cannot rightly be discussed in meaningful, impactful ways? A Place at the Table informs the viewer that America has plenty of food and there is no real, rational reason why the poor should be doing without. Nearly 10 minutes into the film, it becomes very apparent our nation and its people have a problem ... and tears streamed freely. ALL political leaders at one time believed our citizens deserved food and meals and in the late 70's "hunger" had almost been wiped out (because of that over-abundance our nation sits upon). In the early 1980's, priorities changed and feeding our citizens was no longer one many believed necessary as much of that funding was cut (and why not make money off of the food!) and put into new military programs to establish ourselves as a great military power. Social safety nets were cut and church-based charity was expected to take its place although NO other area in government or society has EVER been expected to follow in that same pattern! "The US Military ... brought to you by the thoughtful donations of ..." Our nation has been in a perpetual state of war since when? How many times have school lunch programs been cut? How many food shelters/kitchens have been shut-down? The film will open your eyes and if there is a caring, compassionate and considerate person inside you will be appalled. Were you aware that school lunches must cost under 90 cents per child in school and they want to cut to cut even further (as we might need another tank). Oscar-winning actor Jeff Bridges lends his voice to the cause and Top Chef Tom Colicchio also wants to bring awareness to such a stupidly and selfishly overlooked section of our government. This film shows us who matters most. There have been an abundance of food docs in recent years (most point out the scary "food is no longer food" themes); but none of them have tackled the subject at hand like A Place at the Table has done. The film is highly recommended; but I also recommend tissue. Watching an impoverished 7 year-old "show off" her (non) bedroom to a visiting camera crew is heartbreaking. When did we stop caring about people?
½ June 2, 2013
I've always thought that the eu farm subsidies were insane. But after watching this I'm just glad not to be living in America!
½ April 24, 2013
Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush's documentary "A Place at the Table" is a formulaic, excessively statistical look at hunger in the United States, and what little we as a society are doing about it.

Not unlike the 2008 documentary Food, Inc., this documentary humanizes the gaudy statistics on hunger as it argues America is torching it's own.

One of the most shocking statistics of the film was delivered by CEO of the Share our Strength organization, Bill Shore: "One our of every two kids in the United States, at some time in their childhood, will be on food assistance."

The film uses anecdotal cases like the sickening tale of a 5th-grade girl named Rosie who's learning is suffering due to her constant hunger in a valiant effort to show the viewer what hunger looks and feels like.

"I struggle a lot and most of the time it's because my stomach is hurting," Rosie said. "I look at the teacher and all I can think about is food."

The film profiles a family in the 708-person town of Collbran, Colorado. The family of seven often runs out of food and are a handful of the 50 million Americans who are "food insecure." The term is coined for those persons who don't know where their next meal is coming from. According to the film, one and six Americans say they don't have enough to eat.

Next, you taken to Philadelphia where young single black mother who recently lost her job struggles everyday to feed her children and herself. She says her dream is to go to college, but her situation makes that nearly impossible.

The film stuffs a dozen or so interviews with public figures and activists including Tom Colicchio and Jeff Bridges.

As sort of a sub-plot, the film also exposes our societies's unhealthy eating habits. It speaks correlation between rise in hunger and the rise in obesity. The film gives the history of farm subsidies around the time of the Great Depression. According to the film, Farmers were the first to be hit hard once the economy collapsed. There was pressure for there to be government assistance in place to help farmers get a decent price at harvest time. The original idea was to support farmers, which were mostly small, family owned farms at the time, temporarily and then let the market take over when the time came.

Well, our government never let the market take over. The family owned farms turned into giant agribusiness. The 250 billion in subsidies, or tax-payers money, given to these giant agribusinesses over these years hasn't been re-payed. In fact, it's given these giant businesses the ability to set the market price on harvested goods. This is why fruits and vegetables cost significantly more processed food. According to the film, people want bang for their buck. Americans want the most calories for the least amount of money.

According to the film, President Obama proposed an additional 1 Billion a year to strengthen child nutrition programs. As the statistics strongly show the money is needed, it initially received praise from all those who heard the proposal. Then, the president revealed that that money would be taken from affluent land holders. That didn't go over so well; The proposal we shot down within 24 hours.

According to the film, after months of debate Congress passes "The Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act." The bill amounted to 4.5 Billion increase over the next decade, which the video revealed was a 6 cent increase per meal. Antinomically, over half the bill was paid for by cutting Food Stamps. The bill basically stole from the hungry to give to the hungry.

About 70 minutes of this 80-minute flick focuses on the terrible state of 49 million Americans who do not get enough to eat. After sitting through over an hour of this pain-staking downer, you'll think there is going to be some light at the end of the tunnel. No, A Place at the Table gives the viewer no hope of resolution on the issue at hand. It's certainly a worthy fight that against hunger.

The anecdotes and force the viewer to take notice while pulling at his or her heart. It's a topic that shouldn't be ignored. However, A Place at the Table will leaves the viewer feeling more hopeless than inspired.

A Place at the Table is dark and gloomy; it is an informative slap in the face and it may ruin your day.
April 7, 2013
Review of A Place at the Table:
This film seems to place great emphasis on food security, or the ability or knowledge that food will be provided, rather than on food sovereignty, or the ability and knowledge to manufacture and have control over one's own food sources. There are solutions that were not discussed in this film that need to be considered. While it is true that if just a few rich people would share then the world could be fed many times over, it is ridiculous to depend on this to happen because if there is one thing we can count on, it is that the rich will stay greedy. Additionally, since our federal government is currently supporting 50 million people on EBT and are maxed out spending money they no longer have, they are not the answer. The only long-term solution is personal responsibility.
Self-reliance is a major principle that was missing in the movie's approach; teach people to improve themselves and their situation rather than reinforcing that they are helpless and ever-dependent. I kept thinking at any moment they were surely going to mention putting seeds into soil and growing food. This can literally be done anywhere: in windowsill containers, hanging pots, and larger containers; many different types of easy-to-acquire things can be used as growing containers, so people with no yard can still grow food. Additionally, seeds and foodplants can be purchased with EBT, so there really is no excuse for not doing it.
The teacher who brought fresh fruit to class was great - keep that up and kids will actually want to grow their own food. She got many of the students wanting a snack like that over, say, chips, but then it was implied again that they were simply helpless until the over-burdened government does something about it. So how about if the school yards in this country are all turned into gardens? This would be a great way to avoid reliance on the government to fill all the voids. Gardening should be a mandatory part of their education, so that they can learn where food actually comes from, eat healthy food, prevent obesity and future health problems, and learn a valuable life-sustaining skill that they could pass on to their kids.
The way things are going with the economy and overpopulation, every home and institution should grow their own. Growing and preserving your own food can save a fortune on groceries from the grocery store and can feed the hungry in mass quantities. The woman and young girl in the film appeared to have more space than we do; I bet she would love gardening. Landlords nearly always allow the growing of food. And if for some reason growing food at home is impossible, community gardens are a possibility as urban gardens are increasingly being looked to as a possible hunger solution in urban areas across the U.S. Considering this, I am exceptionally perplexed that this was not mentioned as a possibility in the film; the producers have done a disservice by stating the problem but no possible solutions.
This film is a frustrating disappointment for anyone looking for possible answers; watching it made me a nervous wreck because I just wanted to get in there and demand to know, "where is the garden? What are you doing to improve your situation?" Focusing on only one "solution", dependence on the government, is a counter-intuitive effort that stops possibility-thinking and promotes the cycle of dependence. Our country has been poor before--how about we take lessons from families who lived through WWII? Everyone was required to grow food during this time, and it worked. People have done it before and so can we, without having to rely on the government, on grocery stores, or on corporate farming!
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