Food and Country

Director Laura Gabbert expected to attend

As restaurants across the world were forced to shutter when the pandemic raged, world-renowned chef, memoirist, and food critic (Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Gourmet Magazine), Ruth Reichl used the watershed moment to shine a light on the fragile bonds that exist in America’s food chain between restaurateurs, independent small farmers and cattlemen who must deal with immediate concerns and the larger systemic issues that plague the system. Reichl leads us on a guided tour of the landscape of American food culture and takes a deeper look at how “the arms race and the farms race” create the most abundant food supply on earth without regard to nutrition or sustainable agriculture, thus creating the current system of inequity destined for implosion. With a wealth of perspectives from stressed restaurateurs, to the unfolding stories of ranchers in Kansas and Georgia and farmers in Nebraska, Ohio, and the Bronx, Reichl is devastated by the human casualties behind the statistics and turns the lens on her own complicity having strayed from the path of her younger days as a food activist in Berkeley. An inquisitive, sympathetic look at those on the front line experiencing the tectonic shifts of a changing industry, including Bay Area culinary legend Alice Waters, Food and Country invites you to consider how and what you eat have far-reaching consequences. 

California Premiere

Laura Gabbert’s critically-acclaimed films deploy humor and emotion to tell penetrating, character-driven stories about American culture and society. Her newest documentary, Food and Country is premiering at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. Her previous film, Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles (IFC/Hulu 2020), explores chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She also directed City of Gold (Sundance 2015), the feature documentary about Pulitzer Prize winning food writer Jonathan Gold, which was released theatrically by IFC Films in over 50 markets and named by Vogue Magazine among their “66 Best Documentaries of All Time.” Additional work includes feature documentaries No Impact Man (Sundance 2009, Oscilloscope) and Sunset Story (Tribeca 2005, Independent Lens), as well as the non-fiction short Monument/Monumento (Field of Vision 2017). Gabbert executive produced the Netflix Original Disclosure, and is currently completing a 6-part non-fiction series, The Power of Film, based on the work of legendary film scholar Howard Suber. Gabbert is a member of AMPAS.

Co-sponsored by Jeanne Miller and Barbara Shragge