WHY MAKE IT
"To oppose something is to maintain it...You must go somewhere else; you must have another goal; then you walk a different road." Ursula K. Le Guin
Over the last few years there have been a number of brilliant food documentaries highlighting a rigged political system owned by the corporate giants with their profit at all cost model. We made a conscious decision to focus on ways to go around these industry titans. To take them out of the picture, ignore them entirely and instead focus on actionable steps and lifestyle changes that dramatically impact lives. We have had some epic failures and some spectacular successes. The documentary tells these stories.
Want to see a blatant form of rich versus poor?
Walk into a grocery store. Here people are forced to decide what’s good for their kids and what they can afford to feed them. Yet unhealthy food purchases seem to be judged as lack of character by the rest of society.
But why do low come income families suffer disproportionately from lifestyle diseases?
Is it because of limited retail options and budget constraints which makes them victims of “profit at all costs processed food industry”; or is it due to insufficient understanding of nutritional information; is it personal preference or a result of food gentrification?
Are the nutritional discrepancies between income groups the result of extreme income inequality?
Our Urban Kitchen documentary is an expository, investigative and entertaining documentary following five New York City families to discover what’s currently being served up nightly on their tables and to openly discuss their own personal stories and medical issues.
They embark on a process of learning, which challenges them to make lifestyle changes and the hope that this transforms them in the process.
We are a generation that cooks less than any before.
The plethora of cooking shows with expensive equipment and ingredients is in stark contrast to the kitchens of many low-income families. Dr. Frank Hu from Harvard’s School of Public Health Program has found that the percentage of low socioeconomic status groups with diet related diseases is disproportionately high.
Our Urban Kitchen is an authentic, gritty, real portrayal that is educational, sad and often times hilarious.
It is impossible not to become invested in these remarkable families.
Above all, it is hopeful.
Understanding is often the bedfellow of compassion. It is my hope that through exposing the obstacles that this community faces, it leads to positive action from all. Originally, it was to inspire a community so often stereotypically portrayed or largely ignored so that when they recognize themselves in the film, they see that real change is possible.
But poverty is about people, not politics. And all of us can contribute to make our food system and thus quality of life better for all.
This humbling and extraordinary journey exposes the challenges that a lower income creates to achieving the thing that unites us all, the most universal of all desires – how can we best take care of the people we love, including ourselves.