Eating Alabama is a film that documents the life of Andy Grace and his wife, Rashmi, as they embark on a yearlong resolution to eat nothing but food grown and raised in Alabama. The film recently debuted at the SXSW film festival in Austin, Texas and is set to premiere in Alabama during the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival,scheduled for Aug. 24-26 in Birmingham.
By Andy Grace:
Eating Alabama all started about four years ago, when I talked my wife, Rashmi, into doing something a little ridiculous. We had recently moved back to Alabama after graduate school out West, and, like a lot of people, we were starting to think more critically about the food we eat – where it’s grown, how it gets to us, who grows it. Both Rashmi and I have farmers in our family histories, but a few generations back there was this clean break with the land. I understood on a kind of historical/economic/sociological level how that break from the land happened, but I’d never thought much about what it meant to those of us who came afterward. And so that was the genesis of this idea – what would it be like to try and go back?
Short of selling the house, quitting our jobs and starting a farm, the only way we knew how to go back to a local food economy was to completely change our diets. We decided to eat only food grown or raised within the state of Alabama. Some friends joined us too, and we started a blog. And I started filming.
I had a kind of naive assumption about this movie – that we would do our little eating project, that we would find some connection to all the farmers I assumed were out there, and that everything would wrap itself up into a nice and tidy package. But that’s not usually how documentaries happen, and this one was no different. The film I ended up making doesn’t look much like the one I envisioned. But that’s partly why we’re in this in the first place, right? To try and understand something better? Anyway, the film is finished. And now we’re proud to show it off.
For more information and to watch the trailer please see www.eatingalabama.com.