Deacon Warner
Radical Roots: Revolutions of the Twin Cities Food Co-ops

DEACON WARNER received $15,000 for the feature-length documentary Radical Roots: Revolutions of the Twin Cities Food Co-ops. The Twin Cities has by far the largest number of food cooperatives in the country, including several of the largest, forming the basis for an alternative food economy which helped it gain the distinction of the #1 metro area for local food in the nation. According to the filmmaker, this co-op system has contributed to the high level of health and community cohesion in the Cities and has provided a basis for the economic survival of many sustainable family farms in the region.  Many in the food justice movement in other parts of the country look at the Twin Cities’ strong co-op and local food culture with envy, but its accomplishments did not come without struggle. The Twin Cities were the site of the “Co-op Wars” of the mid-1970s, a struggle over issues of class, race, health, ecology and the nature of social change that descended into threats, violent takeovers, and even a car bombing. These issues remain alive for activists of today as they make efforts to create a food system, and a society, that is just, sustainable, and healthy. Through verite footage, interviews, and animation, this film will link “The Co-op Wars” struggle of the past with issues that continue to be wrestled with in the nationwide contemporary food movement today.

About this grant

Film and Video
Grant Program
Minnesota Film and Video

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