There is some good news, too, from Copenhagen: Brighter Green’s screening of “What’s For Dinner?” Wednesday night at the Klimaforum was filled to overflowing with a multi-national audience, including lots of young people. The room could hold 80 people comfortably; others were likely turned away as Klimaforum volunteers enforced crowd size limits. The response after was really good. And during, when I turned to the audience, everyone I could see was keenly focused on the screen. No one, as far as I could tell, was bored. “Is that it?” someone asked when the film, currently about 27 minutes, ended’a good sign, I thought. I got confirmation later when a New York-based filmmaker said she’d like to see more, too. Several indicated they’d be keen to see similar films on the other countries for which Brighter Green’s completing case studies. A few requested DVDs of the film to show in their universities or with friends.
Many people said they appreciated “What’s For Dinner?’s” exploration of many related issues, from climate change to food security to small farmers’ economic concerns to public health to animal welfare to China’s development path, as opposed to a single focus. After the film, about 50 people stayed on for a discussion between the audience, me and three colleagues I’d invited to join an informal panel: Dale Wen from Action 2030, Lasse Bruun from Compassion in World Farming and Chetana Mirle from Humane Society International. All work on aspects of industrial agriculture, animal agriculture and sustainable agriculture in global contexts.
The panel went on so long that one of the Klimaforum organizers had to ask us to wrap it up’before the room was locked for the night. Just before she left, a young German woman of Chinese descent I’d chatted with earlier, who’d brought along friends and wanted my assurance that they wouldn’t regret coming to see the film, said the film had moved her. She didn’t know much about the issues before, she explained, but now she wanted to learn more and examine her own actions. Yes, she said, her friends had enjoyed it, too. It was past 10:45 p.m. then and snow, about 5 centimeters’ worth, was piling up outside.