As always, the People’s Film Festival is held at First Unitarian Church, 31st and Harney streets, Omaha, at 7 p.m. Note that the schedule has changed from Tuesdays to Mondays.
1913: Seeds of Conflict (Thursday 3/24): 1913 examines a critical yet overlooked moment of transformation in Palestine, long before the Balfour Declaration and British Mandate period usually considered the matchstick for today’s ongoing struggles. It was a time when identities were fluid and few Arabs or Jews living there could imagine the conflict that would engulf their region for the next century.
Feeding Frenzy: The Food Industry, Marketing & the Creation of a Health Crisis (Monday 4/4): Over the past three decades, obesity rates in the U.S. have more than doubled for children and tripled for adolescents — and a startling 70% of adults are now obese or overweight. The result has been a widening epidemic of obesity-related health problems, including coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes. While discussions about this spiraling health crisis have tended to focus on the need for more exercise and individual responsibility, Feeding Frenzy trains its focus squarely on the responsibility of the processed food industry and the outmoded government policies it benefits from. It lays bare how taxpayer subsidies designed to feed hungry Americans during the Great Depression have enabled the food industry to flood the market with a rising tide of cheap, addictive, high-calorie food products, and offers an engrossing look at the tactics of the multibillion-dollar marketing machine charged with making sure that every one of those surplus calories is consumed. Features industry analysts, health experts, and advertising scholars, including Marion Nestle, Kelly Brownell, Sut Jhally, Brian Wansink, and Michele Simon.
Call of Life (Monday 4/18): Call of Life is the first feature-length documentary to fully investigate the growing threat posed by the rapid and massive loss of biodiversity on the planet. Featuring leading scientists, social scientists, environmentalists and others, the film explores the scope, the causes, and the predicted global impact of a mass extinction occurring on a scale not seen since the disappearance of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. If current trends continue, scientists warn that half or more of all plant and animal species on Earth will become extinct within the next few decades. Entirely caused by human activities, this contemporary mass extinction is disrupting and destroying the complex, interconnected biological systems that support life on earth. Through interviews with eminent biologists and ecologists, the film examines the primary drivers of species loss: habitat destruction, global warming, pollution, and invasive species, all compounded by the expanding human population and our consumption patterns.
GMO-OMG (Monday 5/2): This provocative documentary follows one father’s search for answers to the question “What are we feeding our families?” and examines the risks of consuming genetically modified foods, or GMOs. Features Jeremy Seifert.