SIFF Week 4- Finding North

Country: USA

Year: 2012

Genre: Documentary, Social Issues, Hunger

Directors:  Kristi Jacobson, Lori Silverbush

Music: T Bone Burnett and The Civil Wars

This touching yet troubling documentary takes on the complex issue of hunger in America. Co-directors Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush meet with the working poor from coast to coast, including extended families and single parents facing the problem of food insecurity, which affects as many as 50 million people. Actor Jeff Bridges, who co-founded the End Hunger Network, believes it’s a problem that people are ashamed of acknowledging and has only gotten worse since the 1980s. Rose, a charismatic fifth grader from rural Colorado, says she gets so hungry that she feels nauseated. Fortunately, her church steps in to provide a weekly meal, but that’s one night out of seven. Tremonica, a Mississippi second grader, skips meals or eats junk food, which doesn’t bode well for her future. Ree, a Mississippi mother, has to drive 45 minutes just to buy vegetables, since stores in her remote location only carry canned goods. Sadly, poverty and obesity go hand in hand when processed foods cost less than fresh produce, due largely to farm subsidies to agribusiness. Jacobson and Silverbush also look at developmental disabilities, public assistance, and school lunches, while taking time to single out individuals making a positive impact in ways both big and small. (via

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this movie. It was a touching and shocking documentary about the hunger epidemic in our own back yard. I think it would be a good companion piece for the HBO documentary, “Weight of the Nation.” as well.  It was stated that one in four families go to food banks throughout the country.

I also loved the soundtrack by T. Bone Burnett and The Civil Wars, and plan on picking up one of their CD’s.  It was also great to see Jeff Bridges interviewed.

My only complaint and this was talked about during the Q&A is that they were planning on changing the title of the film. It’s still playing in movie festivals, and I’m wondering if they’re going to keep their word. The director thought the title was too “out there” for the topic that it was covering.

Grade: B



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