Edible Buffalo and the Lexington Co-operative Market are proud to present their Food Matters II Film Series benefiting Field & Fork Network, a local non-profit organization dedicated to building a thriving regional food system in WNY. All of the screenings will take place at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, 341 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14202.
The series kicks off on June 8 at 7pm with a screening of The Garden.
The fourteen-acre community garden at 41st and Alameda in South Central Los Angeles was the largest of its kind in the United States. Started as a form of healing after the devastating L.A. riots in 1992, the South Central Farmers created a miracle in one of the country’s most blighted neighborhoods. Growing their own food. Feeding their families. Creating a community.
Then came the threat of bulldozers and the end to their community garden. The Garden follows the plight of the farmers, from the tilled soil of this urban farm to the polished marble of City Hall. Mostly immigrants from Latin America, from countries where they feared for their lives if they were to speak out, we watch them organize, fight back, and demand answers:Why was the land sold to a wealthy developer for millions less than fair-market value? Why was the transaction done in a closed-door session of the LA City Council? Why has it never been made public?
And the powers-that-be have the same response: “The garden is wonderful, but there is nothing more we can do.”
If everyone told you nothing more could be done, would you give up?
The Garden has the pulse of verité with the narrative pull of fiction, telling the story of the country’s largest urban farm, backroom deals, land developers, green politics, money, poverty, power, and racial discord. The film explores and exposes the fault lines in American society and raises crucial and challenging questions about liberty, equality, and justice for the poorest and most vulnerable among us.
The next film is Truck Farm, the screening will take place on June 29 at 7pm.
Truck Farm is a whimsical film that follows a 1986 Dodge Ram pick-up with a mini-farm planted in the truck bed. It’s a traveling, edible exhibit that brings a rural experience to urban residents. See what happens with the tiniest farm in America’s biggest city.
The third installment of the film series, What’s On Your Plate?, takes place on September 14 at 7pm at Hallwalls.
What’s On Your Plate? is a witty and provocative documentary produced and directed by award-winning Catherine Gund about kids and food politics. Filmed over the course of one year, the film follows two eleven-year-old multi-racial city kids as they explore their place in the food chain. Sadie and Safiyah take a close look at food systems in New York City and its surrounding areas. With the camera as their companion, the girl guides talk to each other, food activists, farmers, new friends, storekeepers, their families, and the viewer, in their quest to understand what’s on all of our plates.
The girls address questions regarding the origin of the food they eat, how it’s cultivated, how many miles it travels from the harvest to their plate, how it’s prepared, who prepares it, and what is done afterwards with the packaging and leftovers. They visit the usual supermarkets, fast food chains, and school lunchrooms. But they also check into innovative sustainable food system practices by going to farms, greenmarkets, and community supported agriculture programs. They discover that these programs both help struggling farmers to survive on the one hand and provide affordable, locally-grown food to communities on the consumer end, especially to lower-income urban families. In WHAT’S ON YOUR PLATE?, the two friends formulate sophisticated and compassionate opinions on the state of their society, and by doing so inspire hope and active engagement in others.
The last installment of the series is Urban Roots. This screening will be on October 20 at 7pm.
This film follows the urban farming phenomenon in Detroit. Urban Roots is a timely, moving and inspiring film that speaks to a nation grappling with collapsed industrial towns and the need to forge a sustainable and prosperous future.