cooked: survival by zip code

A film by Judith Helfand

USA/82 mins.




In the Summer of 1995, there was an extreme heat wave in Chicago, with temperatures soaring over 100 degrees for seven days. It hit the area like a tsunami, and left power outages and an exposure of inadequate emergency responses. The death toll from the heat soared to 739 people — most  lived in the lower socio-economic areas of the city.  Whatever the natural disaster, this film looks at ways in which class, race, and zip code predetermine who gets hurt the worst. Helfand, a Peabody Award-winning director, puts herself in the film in a way that makes it feel that she is partnering with us in making these startling and chilling revelations about towns and cities all across the country.


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