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Hungry to Learn 2019

Highly Recommended

Distributed by Good Docs
Produced by Rose Arce and Soledad O'Brien
Directed by Geeta Gandbhir
Streaming, 84 mins

College - General Adult
Documentaries; Education; Poverty

Date Entered: 05/04/2020

Reviewed by Alex Harrington, Access Services & Instruction Librarian, Harrell Health Sciences Library, Penn State University

Hungry to Learn highlights a problem that too many people don’t see, even though it is right in front of all of us who work in higher education: hunger among college students. And it isn’t a single problem; it is a constellation of interrelated problems that feed into each other, creating a cycle that the students featured in the documentary are struggling to break free from. Factors related to hunger and dealt with by one or more of these students include: homelessness; malnutrition (leading to fatigue and physical weakness) and eating disorders; anxiety and depression; other health issues and the accompanying insurmountable hospital bills; social stigma or isolation (such as not being able to participate in activities due to a lack of funds); and the rising cost of college attendance coupled with the inadequacy of financial aid to cover it. It is important to see that these students have good days and bad days, highs and lows, wins and losses... and all are captured here. This film demonstrates (in its own words) that “the adage of the starving college student is no longer just an adage,” but it ends on a high note, focusing on the efforts of individuals and groups working to make a difference at various levels, from volunteering in a food bank, to providing scholarships to those in need, to advocating for meaningful policy change.


Official Selection - DOC NYC; Official Selection - SXSW EDU; Official Selection - ACT Human Rights Film Festival; Official Selection - Garden State Film Festival; Official Selection - Richmond International Film Festival