Food & Dining focuses mostly on what’s cooking in Louisville restaurants, but we thought it important to lead you to an excellent documentary that takes a hard look at the blessings and curses of the fatty-flavorful cuisine African Americans call soul food.
“Soul Food Junkies” is a documentary made by Byron Hurt that centers on soul food tradition and its ties to black cultural identity. Following the premature death of his father, Hurt begins wondering whether the fatty, starchy and salty ingredients in soul food may have hastened his demise. The movie shows multiple pictures of Hurt’s dad as his figure changes from lean and lithe to fat and flabby, and adds tidbits about his father’s denial that soul food was bad for him. Hurt then looks at how soul food may be harming millions of other African Americans.
The film, which airs March 25 at 7 p.m. in the Ali Center auditorium, includes multiple man-on-the-street interviews and chats with doctors and social scientists who discuss whether soul food is good or bad—or just food.
Can’t go that late in the day? The University of Louisville will also show the film at 2 p.m. in the Chao Auditorium in Ekstrom Library. The film also aired recently on KET, so it’s likely in the Public Broadcasting Service archives online.
Bottom line: If you like food-centered movies and good documentaries, this is well done, informative and entertaining, not to mention touching.