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Monday, 17 October 2016

Just Eat It

Last week I was invited to be on a panel of experts at the Oxford Brookes Document Club screening of Jennifer Rustemeyer and Grant Baldwin's "Just Eat It".

My fellow panelists were Rina Melendez from SESI Oxford, Jasmine York from Brookes Hub and chairing the panel, Hannah Fenton from Good Food Oxford.

I felt that the Q&A after the screening really deepened the thinking about the messages in the film – for me as a panelist as well as for the audience. It made the experience one of sharing thoughts and opinions and questioning the messages by relating to our own local experience. Having a discussion about the film deepened the understanding of and reaction to the issues in the documentary. Both the post screening talk and the opportunities for further discussion afterwards made for a powerful evening that was thought provoking, and I feel, more likely to encourage behaviour change than if people experienced the film alone.

It was a documentary equivalent of a book club, which I love.  I always find I get more out of a book when I get the chance to discuss it afterwards, particularly in a diverse group of people who have different opinions.  I find things are brought to my attention that I might otherwise have missed and the whole thing seems more memorable and enduring than just having the experience of reading a book / seeing a film or TV programme on my own.

"Just Eat It" charts the experience of the film producer, Jen and director, Grant as they embark on a challenge to live for six months on food that would otherwise be dumped.

The discussion, as well as considering the content of the film, revolved around practical actions that people might actually take themselves. There was a high level of engagement in the room and there were lots of further questions afterwards, which was very inspiring.

If you missed the screening but would like to follow a bit of the conversation around the topic, you can listen to the  Brookes Radio podcast.