Diving into Film Reviews

I previously wrote about the documentary film Dive! and posted the trailer. I finally got the chance to watch it and want to pass along a hearty endorsement.

It’s a surprisingly personal film, a point driven home in the opening credits when filmmaker Jeremy Seifert’s young son scatters the oranges used to spell out the film’s title. We’re basically invited into Seifert’s dumpster diving world of family and friends. More interesting, though, is when we travel along with Seifert as he examines food waste and its effects.

image courtesy of Dive!The 42-minute documentary makes an important point–while most supermarkets donate food, they often just give baked goods and other shelf-stable items while throwing away all perishables. Hence the abundance of organic chicken, blueberries and bagged salads we Seifert and his pals pluck from dumpster after dumpster.

This abundant waste is communicated when Seifert decides he needs a storage freezer for all of his goods. In a week, he fills it with a year’s supply of meat. And his wife confides that they have a hard time keeping up with all the food available for the taking.

I also appreciated the frank talk about the legality and ethics of dumpster diving. Is it in an act of civil disobedience, as one participant claimed? Perhaps. Is it fun to vicariously “dive” via the film? Most definitely.

My one complaint was that some of the interviews were done by phone, so we just hear the subject’s voice. In particular, I would have loved to have seen Timothy Jones, as I’ve spoken to him a bunch, but never met him. But that is easily forgiven by the end of the film, when we learn that the film’s budget hovered around $200.

Finally, Dive‘s use of stop-motion animation with beans and other food items to illustrate certain points was mesmerizing. (I could have done without the writing in whipped cream, though). In sum, the film’s content is important and delivered with warmth and effectiveness. And there’s even a bit of humor, too.

At the end of the credits, we see:

“Disclaimer for people into suing: This video is not intended to promote dumpster diving…”

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