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The Green Life: Movie Review Friday: Dive!

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March 25, 2011

Movie Review Friday: Dive!

Escape to the movies with one of our Movie Review Friday selections. Each week we review a film with an environmental theme that's currently in theaters or available on DVD. Seen a good eco-flick lately? Send us a short review and look for it in the next Movie Review Friday.

Dive! (2009)

Limited screenings available


Though dumpster-diving has become more popular lately, many people still cringe at the idea of scavenging for food from trash bins. Not Jeremy Seifert, who wrote, directed, and produced Dive!. It's an award-winning documentary about the amount of food waste produced by American grocery chains, a conversation piece that's as entertaining as it is informative.

The film’s modest budget ($200!) is inversely proportional to its message. Along with cute clips showing Seifert’s young son playing with food that Dad finds on dumpster dives, Dive! opens with some glaring statistics that become more monumental as the film progresses: 9.6 billion pounds of food are wasted in the U.S. alone, yet 854 million people continue to go hungry around the world. So where is all this food going? Into the dumpsters, of course. To prove his point, Seifert films himself and his “freegan” friends pulling out mounds of food every night from their local Trader Joe’s dumpsters, enough not only to feed their friends and family but to store in freezers to last an entire year.

The purpose of Dive!, however, is not to encourage dumpster-diving but to address the bigger issue of food waste in the U.S. Why do grocery stores, even the localized and heavily organic Trader Joe's, discard food when they can donate it to nearby homeless shelters and food banks? America is the richest nation in the world, Seifert notes, but millions don’t know where their next meal will come from.

Featuring colorful interviews and a strong personal narrative, Dive! proves that one man’s garbage is another man’s meal. Viewers are left baffled not by the fact that people would eat food from dumpsters, but that the dumpsters are there in the first place.

--Shirley Mak

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