Leftovers Review – Shocking Statistics, One of the Most Important Documentaries of 2017

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Leftovers, from Uncorked Entertainment, presents a shocking and informative documentary detailing, from the wealthiest American neighborhoods to the poorest, the plague of senior hunger and how organizations are combating the astonishing wasteful practices in food production.

Written and directed by Seth Hancock, Leftovers stars Carla Laemmle, daughter of Carl Laemmle, the founder of Universal Studios, who began her screen career in 1925 and still, at the time of the documentary, received mail buckets of fan mail.

Leftovers also stars Sister Alice Marie Quinn, Shane Bernardo, Beverly Berry, Enid Borden, Victor Buick, Jim Firman, Jo Ann Jenkins, Marsha Lorenz, Hank Perret, Cleda Turner, Joseph Weber and Kate White.

Leftovers beings with man on the street random questions asked by Director Seth Hancock to a cross section of people, basking in the California sun, their opinions on Senior Citizens and hunger. The most shocking, of course, are the replies that present hunger as a choice and if the seniors are going hungry it is by their own choice.


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This uninformed opinion may not simply be for dramatic purposes and it does jump start the documentary as the director explains his attachment to this project was an out of the blue request to which he hide his 'not me please' first response and decided to take on this subject.

After meeting with Sister Alice Marie Quinn, the founder of the St. Vincent Meals on Wheels program, she suggests, recognizing the need for a headliner, in Hollywood where the documentary begins, meeting with Carla Laemmle, daughter of the founder of Universal Studios, who at the time of filming was just passed her 100th birthday.

Carla spoke at length what the daily delivered meal means for her. The daughter of the Golden Era, she began her career in the 1925 The Phantom of the Opera and talks about how she and her family lived on the Universal Lot, and her magical childhood as the entertainment industry was just beginning. Carla didn't fall on hard times, she aged.

The great equalizer, age creeps up and suddenly one day we will all be reminiscing of our youth. Carla treated the director with intimate photos of her from a bygone era, gems of the past.

She remained in her home and explains quite clearly if it weren't for the Meals on Wheels program, the daily nutritious, meal delivery and health and wellness checks provided she would by her own admission be in a home, or some institution. Being able to remain in her home around her possessions, pictures, trinkets and memories helped keep her active and sharp.

Leftovers, punctuates the recipients with expert interviews from physicians, social workers, politicians and others including Marsha Lorenz, CEO of Senior First, who explained, "we help seniors live safe, healthy lives in their own homes where they prefer to be."

So our director after having the first morsel of truth in Senior Hunger decided to head north, outside the LA glamour and wound up in Marin County, one of the wealthiest counties in America.

The Marin County Meals on Wheels program, at the time the documentary was made, was run by Victor Buick, heavy metal drummer for the band Thrash.

The next segment details the same shocking statics. The next shots are of the Meals on Wheels program, the needs of Marin County and a few deliveries with the recipient's extremely affecting and grateful.

Without detailing each segment, as the director found each stop in his quest to uncover the truth or myth of Senior Hunger only led him deeper into a subject that he really wasn't comfortable with from the beginning. And here now on the east coast, in Kentucky, in what can be known as the poorest communities, the seniors, who are also raising and housing generations, sons, daughters, grandchildren, are dependent also.


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So the need is established. The questions become the answers: What can we do? How to we combat this plague? What can the average citizen do? Whose problem is it anyway?

Act II of Leftovers showcases two organizations that could quite honestly become the model for hunger programs in America.

The East Texas Food Bank, a 60,000 square foot warehouse that collects inspects sorts, packages, and distributes food to member agencies which provide directly to those in need. The Food Bank services 22,000 individuals who depend on the weekly distribution. The East Texas Food Bank services 26 counties. It is one of the largest food clearinghouses in the nation.

Leftovers travels with the extremely streamlined agency to a local church for distribution and our director is shocked by the lines, that at 7:30am are around the block. The first person in line had to arrive by 5:00am. This scenario is played out across 26 counties and thousands of distribution centers daily serving more than 250,000 clients.

The next stop is Food Rescue in Michigan. Food what? You say. Food Rescue should shame every politician in office and have every voter rethinking his or her voting choice. Each and every year, without fail, 40% of all produce grown in America is plowed under.

Plowed under means, it doesn't quite make the grade, the Beefsteak tomato didn't grow to fullness, then it is left on the ground. The Bell Pepper had a two smaller points, it is tossed. This practice is common and accepted.

The camera pans the warehouse where rescued produce is cleaned and sorted, huge cardboard boxes, four foot by six foot, filled with tomatoes, lettuce, corn, harvested and rescued before the farmers plow it under. The practice of plowing under is scandalizing and shameful.

This rescued harvest is from a traditional 90 days growing season, in states where the growing season is double or triple, the rescued harvest would shock even the most jaded among us.

Leftovers is a must see documentary. It showcases the plague of Senior Hunger, the Meals on Wheels programs, and offers viable solutions from working and active organizations.   

Available on any of the streaming platforms, Leftovers is one of the most important documentaries of the year. An eye opening and disturbing experience. See it!

 

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