In the United States, 49 million people live with “food insecurity”, which is a fancy, non-threatening term for the very real-life circumstance of not knowing where their next meal will come from. To break that staggering number down even further, that’s one in four of all children currently living the US. Now, statistics are easy ““ easy to remember, easy to use and even easier to shrug off. The documentary Finding North seeks to make it impossible to shrug off statistics about food insecurity by putting a human face on the issue.
The film puts its focus on two stories. The first being Rosie, a fifth-grader who lives in a rural community in a multi-generational household, which is necessary because the combined income of all the adults she lives with is not enough to support them. Rosie lives in a tiny closet with all of her family’s clothes, and is grateful to her teacher who brings packages from the local food bank in hopes of assisting Rosie in attending more (and performing better in) school. While the second story is that of Barbie, a single mother living in a large city, who attempts to support her two young children. Barbie makes $2 over the guideline to qualify for food stamps, leaving her scrambling to keep her job while struggling with her son’s developmental issues created by poor nutrition in his earliest years.
From these two stories, filmmakers Lori Silverbush and Kristi Jacobson spiral the issue of hunger outward through community support systems, government programs and agro-funding to show the true societal costs of the United States not being able to feed a full quarter of its youngest generation.
Despite the fact that it focuses on the US, and clearly shows that Canada is nowhere near them on the hunger scale, it does leave Canadian viewers wondering what the food insecurity situation is in their own community. But Finding North doesn’t offer any answers. Instead, it asks you to help find them by getting involved, which is the mark of an excellent documentary.
Finding North screens as part of the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival on Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at 7:00 pm, Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 1:00 pm and Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 1:30 pm. Check the festival website for details and tickets.
Need more Hot Docs?
We’ve got lots! Check it out here.
Latest posts by Trista DeVries (see all)
- From “sissy” to Brokeback Mountain: a brief history of queer cinema – May 13, 2013
- Review: Blackbird – May 10, 2013
- Review: I Declare War – May 10, 2013