Lights, camera… Action! Protesters pour into the streets following “Food Chains” screenings in Miami, New York, Washington DC, and more cities…

[hupso title=”Lights, Camera… ACTION! Protesters pour into streets following @FoodChainsFilm…” url=”http://ciw-online.org/blog/2014/11/food-chains-action/ “]

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Over two hundred moviegoers hit the streets for a protest targeting Wendy’s following a Saturday afternoon showing of the new documentary “Food Chains” in New York. Wendy’s is the lone holdout among the fast-food giants to still refuse to join the CIW’s Fair Food Program. Similar protests took place in several cities, including Miami, Washington DC, and Orlando.

Meanwhile, reviewers continue to praise “Food Chains.”  Film Journal International writes, “this film should literally be seen by every American who unquestioningly lifts fork to mouth for their three squares a day.

The new documentary “Food Chains” has hit the ground running, and has been tallying an opening weekend to remember in the process! 

Michael Pollan, Barry Estabrook, Eric Schlosser, Marion Nestle, Amy Goodman, Ted Genoways, Greg Kaufmann, and Arthur Allen have all hosted standing-room-only panel discussions following showings in New York.  The film has garnered great reviews and feature stories from the New York Times,  the Washington Postand the San Francisco Chronicle (not to mention Inc , Film JournalMother Jones  and others!).  And as if that weren’t enough, there have been 12 major protests for farmworker rights around the nation, like this one in Miami pictured below, with more planned for Sunday:

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In Miami, over 200 farmworkers and student supporters joined forces for a colorful protest outside a nearby Publix after a Saturday afternoon screening of “Food Chains”.

It is fitting that a film that tells the story of successful consumer action in alliance with farmworkers should itself spark action, but the size and spirit of the protests have been truly surprising…

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In Washington, DC, moviegoers lined the streets outside a local Wendy’s in a powerful candlelight vigil.

… with young and old alike showing their support for Fair Food:

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Students from New Yorks Midtown Workman’s Circle lent their unique energy to the massive protest there.

Meanwhile, enthusiastic reviews continue to praise the film and its urgent call for farm labor justice at the base of our country’s food system.  Here’s an excerpt from Film Journal International’s review, entitled Film Review: Food Chains — Vitally important, infuriating exposé of the world of injustice behind the food you consume”:

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You may never look at a salad on your table the same way again after seeing Sanjay Rawal’s Food Chains, which entails the plight of farmers in this country (and others), who do the back-breaking labor few others want to do for the merest pittance…

… In recent years, Walmart, Taco Bell, Burger King, Chipotle, McDonald’s and Trader Joe have all finally woken up and come aboard the Fair Food Program, which exists to address farmworker injustices. But Publix, as the failed hunger strike demonstrates, still declines to even consider the pleas of those who pick its produce, shuffling the responsibility onto individual farm owners, as if its ultimate, all powerful say-so in this matter was meaningless. Rawal is to be heartily commended for the passionate insight and range he has lent to this ongoing human dilemma, and his film should literally be seen by every American who unquestioningly lifts fork to mouth for their three squares a day… read more 

And another, from the Sacramento Bee, that takes a look at the film through the prism of today’s broader food movement, entitled “Documentary a Grim Reminder of Realities of ‘Farm to Fork'”:

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Just in time for Thanksgiving comes a powerful film about the abundance of our agriculture and the gratitude we owe to farmworkers.

The documentary “Food Chains” opened nationwide in theaters and via iTunes on Friday, and will be released Thursday through video on demand. Its scenes are likely to make you pause and reflect the next time you shop the supermarket produce aisle…

… For all the talk of farm to fork, what we mostly celebrate are the fine-dining chefs and the small farmers who supply our local restaurants and markets. But food justice has to go beyond selling $27 pork chops in the name of supporting local eating. There wouldn’t be a farm-to-fork movement without the workers in the fields, who are mostly ignored by the general public and who often live below the poverty line and are subject to abuses…

… That’s to say “Food Chains” isn’t just one endless Debbie Downer scenario. The film focuses on South Florida’s Coalition of Immokalee Workers, which has achieved significant successes in the fight for fair wages and humane treatment for farmworkers. The CIW developed a Fair Food Program that incorporates a wage increase to two cents per pound – essentially doubling farmworker wages – and a code of conduct with zero tolerance for forced labor and sexual assault, among other provisions… read more 

The review concludes with a quote from the director, Sanjay Rawal:

“Ask a restaurant or grocer where the mushroom was grown, who raised the chicken and if the workers were treated fairly,” said Rawal. “The people on the other side won’t have all the answers yet. But the more they’re asked, the more the system will have to provide the answers. There won’t be change unless you ask for it.”

And that’s just what moviegoers in more than a dozen major cities across the country did this weekend after seeing the film, ask for — better yet, demand — Fair Food!

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For more pictures from all the action, check out the Food Chains Facebook page and the CIW’s twitter feed — and enjoy the full gallery below from New York City!  Then see the film yourself this week, if you haven’t seen it yet, and join the movement in the streets!

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