April 9, 2020 12:33 pm
A provocative investigation into the disasters we're willing to see and prepare for, and the ones we're not, COOKED: Survival By Zip Code - which looks at the racial disparities in life expectancy and public health support during the 1995 Chicago heat wave - has become more timely than ever. Following a successful run on PBS earlier this year, COOKED returns for a month-long streaming run starting today.
Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Judith Helfand's searing investigation into the politics of “disaster” pushes people to deeply consider what it might mean to redefine the term “disaster” and reframe the concept of “resilience.” Helfand forges inextricable connections between both the cataclysmic natural and slow-motion disasters.
"How do you define disaster? What if we treated poverty as if it were an “emergency”?," asks Helfand. "If we’re willing to go in “afterwards”, why not help the most “vulnerable" neighborhoods become "resilient", before the next “natural disaster” hits ? This is a local life and death story. And that is why we added a colon and a brutal reality to our film’s title -- COOKED: Survival by Zip Code."
Whether it’s a deadly heat wave in Chicago or the current COVID-19 pandemic , 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.