Former presidential nominee and Senator George McGovern will speak and participate in a discussion Wednesday, Jan. 27, following the premiere of “Hungry for Green,” a film written and directed by Matt Barr (Media Studies) and narrated by McGovern.
“Hungry for Green: Feeding the World Sustainably,” a 26-minute documentary about the interconnections between feeding the world’s hungry and making agriculture more organic and sustainable, will be screened at 7 p.m. in Elliott University Center Auditorium. Chancellor Linda P. Brady will introduce McGovern.
Barr, a professor in the Department of Media Studies, shot the film in McGovern’s home state of South Dakota and North Carolina, and used additional footage from around the world. After the film is shown on Jan. 27, Barr and McGovern will discuss it with the audience.
“It was thrilling and wonderful to be able to make this film and to work with Senator McGovern, who has always been one of my heroes,” Barr says.
Barr can be heard speaking about the event and film at http://iminervapodcast.blogspot.com/.
“It is one of the first documentaries to tie together the issues of agricultural sustainability and the worldwide problem of hunger. We plan to get ‘Hungry for Green’ out to PBS stations as well as to educational venues nationwide.”
The music for the film was scored by Dr. Pete Kellett (Communication Studies) and performed by Dr. Kellett, Dr. Steve Kroll-Smith (Sociology) and Dr. Art Murphy (Anthropology).
The film has already won praise from acclaimed documentary filmmaker Ken Burns. “This is an important film that underscores the urgency of achieving agricultural sustainability to help alleviate hunger and protect our natural environment,” Burns says.
At 3:30 p.m. the same day, McGovern will speak about Abraham Lincoln and sign copies of his book about the 16th president in Jackson Library’s Reading Room.
Both the film screening and the book signing are free and open to the public. Free parking will be available in the Oakland Avenue Parking Deck for attendees of the film premiere.
Sponsors of McGovern’s visit to UNCG include the O’Henry Hotel, Green Valley Grill, the Sierra Club, Sustainable Health Choices, Tate Street Coffee House, the UNCG College of Arts and Sciences, the UNCG Department of Media Studies, the UNCG Sustainability Committee, UNCG University Libraries, and the Friends of the UNCG Libraries.
McGovern saw the devastating effects of hunger during the Great Depression, when Dust Bowl storms and grasshoppers ravaged South Dakota. He saw even worse hardship while stationed in Italy as a bomber pilot during World War II.
After graduating from Dakota Wesleyan University in 1946, he earned a master’s and doctorate in history at Northwestern University, where his thesis advisor was Arthur Link, the father of longtime UNCG history professor Bill Link.
He served two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, 1957-61, and three terms in the Senate, 1963-81. Between his stints in Congress, he led the federal Food for Peace Program, an effort to use American surplus to feed the needy in other countries. McGovern spoke at UNCG’s graduation in 1969.
The Democratic Party nominated him in 1972 as its candidate for president. His career in public office was marked by his opposition to the war in Vietnam, his support for farmers and his work to feed the hungry around the world.