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Hungry Now

Maine Public TV Air Time:
Thur., November 24 at 9:00 pm
Hungry Now The Kids, The Homeless & The Helpers still frame from the documentary film.

We’ve all driven right by them. We’ve all walked on by them, crossing to the other side out of caution. Who are they? What do they want? How did everyday children grow up to climb through a dumpster for half-eaten food, & end their winter days in a tent in the richest country in the world?

 Hungry Now hopes to connect a few dots, where do these people come from?

Connecting the kids being cared for by teachers in small rooms, to the sketchy shadows off the road. Voices you’ve never heard before are here, the mic is on and it’s not what you may expect to hear: the young couple by the supermarket dumpster; the man with the dark hat by the abandoned gas station on Main Street in Bangor, Maine, the man bundled into his wheelchair with everything he will ever own, fixed by the Penobscot bridge, not asking you for a thing.

These voices, including many of "The Helpers," as Mr. Rogers called them, are contrasted by current Middle School students in the 2021 Cobscook TREE program, which applied a complete trauma-sensitive and educational wellness plan to children in Downeast Maine. This film is about childhood hunger and it’s memories, but it can’t be about one thing. “Hungry Now” traces the tragic path where a fresh-faced Middle Schooler starts below the poverty line, & lands with stability or chaos, depending on what lies between those school & adult years. Composer/Filmmaker Alan Kryszak directed "Hungry Now," the 5th feature documentary with a wonderfully dedicated crew and researchers from The University of Maine at Machias & UMaine: Sam LaRusse, Nicholas Sanborn, Amanda Sawyer, Robin Hadlock Seeley, Hannah Somers-Jones, Suzie Milkowich, Aiyla Petty, Amanda Quinn, Megan Racila, and Beth Staples of Maine at Machias’ Downeast Documentary program.

 The common thread of disadvantaged folks sharing what little they have is relayed by UMaine students from The Congo, a survivor of an "Indian Residential School," an orphan in El Salvador, and a homeless man in Bangor who insisted the food gift card be given to the couple at the dumpster, "someone more in need." Revelations can be small, and very quiet, sometimes.

Hungry Now is produced by Alan Kryszak, Downeast Documentary.