Directed by Judith Helfand. Produced by Fenell Doremus.
ABOUT THE FILM:
COOKED: Survival by Zip Code is Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Judith Helfand's searing investigation into the politics of “disaster” – by way of the deadly 1995 Chicago heat wave, in which 739 residents perished (mostly Black and living in the city’s poorest neighborhoods).
Asking open-ended questions that push people to deeply consider what it might mean to redefine the term “disaster” and reframe the concept of “resilience,” Helfand forges inextricable connections between the cataclysmic natural disasters we’re willing to see and prepare for and the slow-motion disasters we’re not – that is until an extreme weather event hits and they are made exponentially more deadly and visible. Using a combination of chutzpah, humor and candor, Helfand delves deep into one of our nation’s biggest growth industries: disaster preparedness.
Whether it’s a deadly heat wave in Chicago or Hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, Harvey or Maria, these disasters reveal the ways in which class, race, and zip code predetermine who lives and dies everyday, regardless of the weather and who gets hurt the worst and first in the wake of an “official disaster.” In COOKED Helfand challenges herself and ultimately all of us to respond to the man-made disasters taking place in towns and cities across the country before the next unprecedented “natural” disaster hits.