Bloomsburg, a Commonwealth University
Bloomsburg University to Host First Film in Green Campus Spring Series
Bloomsburg, PA (02/02/2022) — Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania's Green Campus Film Series will screen the film Cooked: Survival by Zip Codes on Tuesday, Feb. 22, at 7 p.m. in the McCormick Center, room 1303. All those attending must be masked.
Cooked: Survival by Zip Codes examines disasters caused by climate change, the preparedness for them, and how certain communities have more resources and remediation access than others through the story of the 1995 Chicago heatwave.
In an age of global pandemics, hurricanes, floods, wildfires, and other extreme disasters, a heatwave can be devasting. However, the conditions of poverty, age, pollution, and failing infrastructure combined in 1995 in Chicago created a heatwave with a heat index of more than 126 degrees. In just one week, it led to the deaths of more than 700 residents.
The film explores the similarities between the victims; most were low income, elderly, and Black, killed more by social neglect, structural racism, and poor planning than the heat itself. For many people living on the edge, both physically and economically, the difference between life and death could be just access to a reliable electric grid, air-conditioned library or senior center, or even a crosstown bus.
Filmmaker Judith Helfand creates links between extreme weather, disparity, and racism, asking if a zip code was just a routing number and not a life-or-death sentence. Helfand is best known for her ability to confront the dark, cynical worlds of chemical exposure, heedless corporate behavior, and environmental injustice, making them personal, resonant, and even entertaining. Her other documentaries include The Uprising of '34, Blue Vinyl, and Everything's Cool. Beyond filmmaking, Helfand taught the art of documentary filmmaking at New York University, New School, and was the University of Wisconsin's Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies' filmmaker-in-residence in 2007 and 2009. She has also founded two nonprofits: Working Films and Chicken & Egg Pictures, a nonprofit film fund dedicated to supporting women documentary directors.
Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 7,800 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.