Food Issues at the Powell River 2013 Film Festival

Many thanks to you who helped make our winter get-together potluck happen last Wednesday, especially chef Jacqueline Huddleston. It sounded like a smashing good time to those of us who were too under-the-weather to attend.

Well, that’s winter for ya. On to spring!

With the Powell River Film Festival coming up Feb. 19-24 at The Patricia Theatre (with Arts Mosaic and community tables at Dwight Hall), here are two films, both screening on Saturday, Feb 23, that have food as a central concern. Do keep in mind that there are several other films that deal with topics like climate change (the spectacular Chasing Ice), social change (Occupy Love), and the intersection of environmental protection, stewardship, and art (Reflections:Art For An Oil-Free Coast and local filmmaker Jeremy Williams’ St’at’imckalh), all with local and international implications on the food system as well. See all the 20+ film selections at this year’s festival here. Note that these will be showing at The Patricia Theatre this year; buy tickets early to avoid disappointment (at Breakwater Books, at Patricia Theatre, Armitage Men’s Wear, and online).

More Than Honey plays at the Patricia Theatre on Saturday, February 10:30am. $8/$6 students/seniors.
More Than Honey plays at the Patricia Theatre on Saturday, February 10:30am. $8/$6 students/seniors. Click for more information, the trailer and to buy tickets.

Over the last decade, millions of bees have disappeared worldwide. Is this a one-time anomaly or are we facing total system collapse?  Looking for answers, director Markus Imhoof, grandson of a  professional beekeeper, travels to interview experts ranging from beekeepers to scientists. Employing the latest in film-making technology to observe phenomena inside the hive, in blossoms and during flight, Imhoof leaves us with a sense of wonder and awe mixed with urgency
over the fate of the world’s bees.

More Than Honey is distinguished for its international perspective as Imhoof charts how the bee crisis is being experienced in different parts of the world. Imhoof highlights the pressure caused by the continually growing pyramid of the global economy, at the base of which we can find, and must not forget, the insects. Bees have become chain workers, a machine expected to function upon the simple push of a button. Certainly a lot more than honey is at stake. Without bees, modern society will be radically different and some question whether it can survive at all. What separates this work from earlier films on the
subject is that Imhoof proposes a possible solution.

Bitter Seeds
Bitter Seeds plays at the Patricia Theatre on Saturday, Feb 23 at 1:30pm. $8/$6 students/seniors. Click above for more info, the film trailer and to buy tickets

This deeply affecting, character-driven film exposes the issues surrounding a rash of farmer suicides in India. Bitter Seeds masterfully weaves a rich tapestry of compelling human stories and subplots, allowing you to enter a world that is both personal and profound.
With industrial agriculture seemingly thriving in India, why have a staggering 250,000 farmers committed suicide in the past 16 years?  Touching down in Telung Takli, intrepid documentarian Micha X. Peled traces the roots of this epidemic to an all-too-familiar villain: biotech giant Monsanto. Also seeking answers, and hopefully solutions, is aspiring journalist Manjusha Amberwar. After her father took his own life, she wants to stop other farmers, including her distraught uncle, from meeting an identical fate. Her quest not only requires her to knock on doors, but also to break through India’s glass ceiling for women. Skilfully weaving together an economic, agricultural and sociological narrative, while above all telling a number of different human stories, we engage not only with the struggle, but also in a possible way of escape.

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