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by Kate Gellene
December 13th, 2011

In his new work Soul Food Junkies, Rooftop Alum Byron Hurt turns his lens on the traditional African American cuisine fondly known as soul food. The film first explores the history and the myths that surround this culturally entrenched southern fare, taking the viewer back to the days of the slave trade and the segregated south. Hurt then takes us back to the present: he asks family, friends, cooks, scholars, and some extremely friendly tailgaters to talk about why they love soul food, and the role it plays in their lives.

Byron’s social and historical investigation is fascinating in its own right, but is made even more so by the film’s personal angle. His father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2004, a disease caused in part by a meat, fat, and salt heavy diet — all of which is an integral part of soul food. It was his father’s illness that lead him to investigate the effects of soul food, and to improve his life by maintaining a healthier diet. The final third of the documentary explores ways that others, especially in the black community, can do the same.

The film has the potential to make an important contribution to the growing national conversation about healthy eating, food sustainability, and food justice. It’s well on its way to reaching the $25,000 Kickstarter goal, but they still need your help to finish the film. According to Hurt, “Film festivals, media outlets, health and wellness institutions, as well as food justice organizations are contacting us daily to ask when the film will be ready to premiere… upon its release, the documentary will be widely viewed and will ignite a national discussion.” So, rest assured, your contribution will be well worth the while. Head to their Kickstarter page and make a pledge – every dollar counts!

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One Response to “Kickstarter: Take A Bite of “Soul Food Junkies””

  1. [...] out to this extraordinary filmmaker’s latest project. Next week, Hurt’s newest film Soul Food Junkies will make its world premiere in Miami, Florida during the American Black Film Festival. It will be [...]

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Rooftop Films is a New York based non-profit whose mission is to engage diverse communities by showing independent movies in outdoor locations, producing new films, coordinating youth media education, and renting equipment at low cost to artists.

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