Moon Winx Films, a film by ANDREW BECK GRACE,
co-produced with BARTLEY POWERS, ( 2012, 62 min)
WHEN: Sunday November 24, 2013 1:15 PM
WHERE: Community Church NY Gallery Room, 28 East 35th St. btwn Park & Madison Aves.
ADMISSION: Free, donations appreciated
With the rise of slow and local food movements over the last few years, America’s regional food cultures have become a boutique industry. Could you forgo the convenience of the supermarket and spend a full year eating only locally raised food?
In search of a simpler life, a young couple, Andrew Beck Grace and his wife Rashmi, returns home to Alabama where they set out to eat the way their grandparents did – locally and seasonally. But as they navigate the agro-industrial gastronomical complex, they soon realize that nearly everything about the food system has changed since farmers once populated their family histories. A thoughtful and often funny essay on community, the South and sustainability, EATING ALABAMA is a story about why food matters.
Like a lot of native Southerners, the Graces count more than a few farmers in their family histories, and it was an attempt to rediscover those agrarian roots that formed the initial motivation for the film. “Growing up on my granddaddy’s stories, I really thought, rather naively, that all these farmers were just out there but didn’t know how to get their product to us,” Andrew says. “My project would be about reconnecting those blocked pathways.” They understandably expect to rely on the state’s long history of small-farm agriculture for sustenance.
But as Grace and a group of dedicated friends crisscross the state in search of fresh ingredients at a handful of farmers’ markets, their quest starts to prove inefficient, costly, and frequently hilarious. Along the way, Grace takes in the landscape that his grandfather once farmed, and ponders a way of life that’s all but disappeared. He is keenly aware that any attempt to resurrect this attachment to the land will be driven to some extent by nostalgia, and may be unsustainable to boot.
Both funny and insightful, EATING ALABAMA delves into our often complex relationship to the food we eat and the people who grow it, and what food can teach us about community. “I hope people get a sense of how difficult farmers have it and how hard they work,” Grace says, “and that they will try to make choices—even small ones—that will lead to change.”