At work last week, my boss gathered the interns into the conference room to watch Soul Food Junkies, a documentary by filmmaker Byron Hurt about his father’s obsession with eating unhealthy food.
There’s no question that the issues covered in the documentary are complex and multi-faceted, but the film is grounded on one family’s experience– and I loved it. Instead of making a movie about the epidemic of unhealthy food consumption in America, Hurt makes a movie about a family and his own interpretations of the issues. Like so many of the ethnographies I’ve read for classes, he explicitly places the issues within his own perspectives, and the resulting story is both compelling and familiar. And, much to the delight of this anthropology major, Soul Food Junkies places culture at the intersection of various issues, from racism-based access discrepancies to how the preparation of soul food actually builds community.
I recommend it! (And hooray– first post!)
Read more about the film on the PBS website.