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Food is Power documentary film season at the Bertha DocHouse in July

4 July 2015

You are what you eat, but could what you eat be harming your body and wrecking the planet?

What is the real price of a sugar hit, a cheap bottle of wine, sushi every day or a ‘healthy’ protein-based diet? Bertha DocHouse at the Curzon Bloomsbury, the UK’s first and only dedicated documentary cinema screen, presents a striking season of provocative, independent documentaries on the food we produce, its impact on us and the modern world (July 17-23).

The season, Food is Power, kicks off on Friday 17th July and showcases five films from around the world. It is particularly topical in the context of TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) and the secretive negotiations surrounding it.

Each different in style, these passionate, personal and pensive films challenge the status quo, exploring the health risks of our food choices and the legacy for the planet and the next generation. They expose what mega corporations would rather keep firmly under wraps.

Food is Power brings together powerful classics and new releases, from Damon Gameau’s much-anticipated release That Sugar Film, a hilarious but cautionary tale which follows the writer-director as he spends 60 days on a diet equivalent to the average daily consumption of sugar in the western world. The results are shocking.

Bertha DocHouse is also presenting Jonathan Nossiter’s recent release Natural Resistance, which tells the story of traditional, natural wine growers in Tuscany coming up against the Goliath of EU dictates; Kip Anderson & Keegan Kuhn’s documentary Cowspiracy (2014), described by Darren Aronofsky as a “documentary that will rock and inspire the environmental movement;” and Phie Ambo’s Good Things Await (2014), a heart-warming story of one man against the crippling rules and regulations of industrialised food production.

Finally, the season is bookended with a rare chance to see the classic, multi award-winning Our Daily Bread. Nikolaus Geyrhalter’s 2005 ground-breaking documentary is a visual essay that bears witness to the disturbing reality of industrialised food production.

Elizabeth Wood, Founder and Director of Bertha DocHouse, said:

“Having a cinema screen dedicated to documentary film means we can programme themed seasons on issues that really matter in contemporary Britain. If you care about your health, the next generation’s health and the planet, this is a must-see season.”

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Details of the season are below.

Friday 17 July 18.30 / Thursday 23 July 20.40

Our Daily Bread
Nikolaus Geyrhalter – 92 mins – 2005 – UK
Gerhaulter’s classic film on industrial food production and high-tech farming is a wide-screen tableau of a feast that isn’t always easy to digest, but in which we are all complicit. People, animals and crops, all are swallowed up by the relentless rhythm of conveyor belts and immense machines. This powerful, visual essay is a chilling confrontation of the price we pay for society’s demand for faster and cheaper food to sustain our consumer-dependent lifestyle.



Saturday 18 July 18.20 / Monday 20 July 20.30 / Wednesday 22 July 18.20 

That Sugar Film
Damon Gameau – 94 mins – 2015 – Australia 
One man’s journey to discover the bitter truth about sugar. Picking up where Super-Size Me left off, and with an entertaining Aussie twist, writer-director Damon Gameau spends 60 days on a high sugar, low fat diet. Consuming the Australian average of 40 teaspoons a day by eating only supposedly healthy, low-fat products, Gameau exposes what the corporate sugar industry strives to hide: that high sugar products lurk in the most unexpected places on supermarket shelves. That Sugar Film will change forever the way we think about ‘healthy’ food.



Sunday 19 July 17.30 / Tuesday 21 July 20.30

Natural Resistance
Jonathan Nossiter – 86 mins – 2014 – Italy
Four radical wine growers attempt to forge a link to their ancient Etruscan heritage by seeking natural methods of winegrowing and crusading for environmentalism. At the same time, they endeavour to combat the new economic order of bureaucratic dictates that opposes their natural wine growing methods while approving chemically manufactured alternatives.



Saturday 18 July 20.40 / Monday 20 July 18.25 / Wednesday 22 July 20.40

Kip Andersen, Keegan Kuhn – 85 mins – 2014 – US
This feature-length documentary created in the same mould as Blackfish, addresses the true impact of animal agriculture, in particular cattle, on the environment. Referring to it as the ‘sustainability secret,’ the refusal by industry experts and even climate change organistations to acknowledge the issue leads to the filmmakers receiving threats to their freedom and lives.



Sunday 19 July 19.30 / Tuesday 21 July 18.20

Good Things Await
Phie Ambo – 90mins – 2014 – Denmark
Niels Stokholm is one of the most idealistic farmers in Denmark. He runs a biodynamic farm called Thorshøjgaard with his wife, Rita, and from their farm they distribute products to some of the best restaurants around the world. But not everyone is equally fond of Thorshøjgaard and their holistic methods as authorities and bureaucractic regulations threaten to close down the farm.

Trailer link: