Filmmaker Byron Hurt was so fascinated by Soul Food’s deep roots in Black history that he made a movie about it entitled, Soul Food Junkies. Soul Food Junkies explores the quintessential cuisine, which has made a huge impact on African American health and identity on some. Hurt explores the past present and future of soul food from its roots in West Africa, to it’s journey to the American South, to it’s contribution to the current health crises in communities of color.
“My father had become ill with pancreatic cancer. My sister, my mother and myself really tried hard to get him to change his eating habits so we could help him extend his life,” Hurt told EURweb . “It was very hard for him. In fact, we got into some very tense conversations because I would question him about the food that he was putting on his plate, even after he had become ill.”
In addition to tradition and health, Hurt also looks at the socioeconomics of the standard American diet and how the food industry profits from peddling cheap food, while making healthy options expensive and hard to find. Soul Food Junkies airs on PBS, January 14 (2013), as part of the network’s Independent Lens series.