Cooked: Survival by Zip Code's Chicago theatrical run opens tonight

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).

Cooked will make its Chicago premiere in a 2-week theatrical run beginning July 12th at the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 24 years-to-the-day of the 1995 Chicago heat wave. Tickets are available here.

The run of screenings is supported by a panels filled with city and public health officials, experts, activists, and the filmmakers and participants in the film. See a full list below and at

Watch the trailer.

News Coverage:

‘Cooked’: Edifying documentary sheds light on Chicago’s deadly ‘95 heat wave - BY RICHARD ROEPER, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES

Commentary: Could the '95 heat deaths happen again? Climate change, income disparities keep Chicagoat risk- BY ERIK KLINENBERG AND JUDITH HELFAND IN THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Chicago's 1995 heatwave: Filmmakers on 'Cooked' and how race, privilege determined who lived and died– NINA METZ IN CONVERSATION WITH JUDITH HELFAND IN THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE

'Cooked: Survival by ZIP Code' review: A withering look at the 1995 Chicagoheat wave – BY MICHAEL PHILLIPS IN THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Doc on 1995 heat wave is heart wrenching film looking for answers– BY ELAINE BOWEN IN THE CHICAGO CRUSADER



*Please check links below for more information about special appearances during indicated screenings.


FRIDAY July 12th @ 2pm

FRIDAY July 12 @ 8:15pm - Opening Night Q&A with COOKED Filmmakers & Film Subjects

Fenell Doremus (Producer, COOKED: Survival by Zip Code), Judith Helfand (Director/Producer, COOKED: Survival by Zip Code), Dr. Linda Rae Murray, M.D. MPH, F.A.C.P. (Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Illinois School of Public Health), Orrin Williams (Food Systems Coordinator, Chicago Partnership for Health Promotion) | Moderator: Pamela Sherrod Anderson (Award-winning writer, filmmaker, playwright, journalist and educator)

SATURDAY July 13th @ 5pm - Reframing the Disaster: Language and Messaging Around Systemic Poverty, Racism and our Climate Crisis

Panelists: Jahmal Cole (My Block My Hood My City), Juliana Pino (Little Village Environmental Justice Organization), Susy Schultz (Public Narrative) | Moderator: Sylvia Ewing (Elevate Energy)

SUNDAY July 14th @ 2pm - Environmental Justice from Resilience to Resistance

Panelists: Kim Wasserman (Little Village Environmental Justice Organization), Joshi Radin, (Pilson Environmental Right and Reform Organization), Cheryl Johnson (People for Community Recovery)

MONDAY July 15th @ 6pm

TUESDAY July 16th @ 7:45pm

WEDNESDAY July 17th @ 6pm

THURSDAY July 18th @ 8pm - Faith, Equity & Climate Justice

Panelists: Pastor Booker Vance (Elevate Energy), Rev. Dr. Marshall Hatch (New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church), Chief Rabbi Capers Shmuel Funnye (Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation) and Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann (Mishkan Chicago)



FRIDAY July 19th @ 8:15pm - Radical Resilience: The Art and Soul of Place Making, Place Taking-back and Transformation

Panelists: Danielle Perry (Growing Home), Naomi Davis (Blacks In Green) | Moderator: Anton Seals (Grow Greater Englewood)

SATURDAY July 20th @ 7:30pm - A City in Transition: Chicago Today and Moving Forward

Panelists: Allison Arwady (Acting Commissioner Chicago Department of Public Health), Alma Anaya (Cook County Commissioner of the 7th District), Judith Helfand (Director/Producer, COOKED: Survival by Zip Code), Ranjani Prabhakar (Deputy Policy Director - Climate Change, City of Chicago) | Moderator Alden Loury (Senior Editor: Race, Class & Communities, WBEZ)

SUNDAY July 21st @ 5:15pm - Social Determinants of Health: Closing the Life Expectancy Gap - Part 1 (In dedication to the life, work and legacy of Dr. Steve Whitman)

Panelists: Maureen Benjamins PhD, (Sinai Urban Health Institute) David Ansell, MD, MPH (Rush University Medical Center), Linda Rae Murray, MD MPH (Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Illinois School of Public Health) | Moderator: Anne Evens (Elevate Energy)

TUESDAY July 23rd @ 8pm - Social Determinants of Health: Closing the Life Expectancy Gap - Part 2

Panelists: Wesley Epplin (Health Equity and Collaborative for Health Equity- Cook County), Fernando De Maio (DePaul University), Brenda Rodriguez (Collaborative for Health Equity – Cook County) | Moderator: James Bloyd, Collaborative for Health Equity

WEDNESDAY July 24th @ 6pm

THURSDAY July 25th @ 8pm From A Social Autopsy to A Palace for the People: A conversation with filmmaker Judith Helfand and author, Eric Klinenberg about the value of social capital and community-based institutions as life saving forces