Geneva church to show 'Sustainable' film on America's food system May 24

  • Marty Travis and his son, Will, tend to the guinea hogs during winter chores at Spence Farm in Livingston, Ill., in the 2016 documentary "Sustainable."

    Marty Travis and his son, Will, tend to the guinea hogs during winter chores at Spence Farm in Livingston, Ill., in the 2016 documentary "Sustainable." Courtesy of Hourglass Films

Submitted by Unitarian Universalist Society of Geneva
Updated 5/21/2019 12:33 PM

On Friday, May 24, the Unitarian Universalist Society of Geneva, 102 S. Second St., continues its monthly film series with a screening of the 2016 documentary "Sustainable" at 7 p.m.

A vital investigation of the economic and environmental instability of America's food system, from the agricultural issues we face -- soil loss, water depletion, climate change, pesticide use -- to the community of leaders who are determined to fix it. "Sustainable" is a film about the land, the people who work it and what must be done to sustain it for future generations.


The narrative of the film focuses on Marty Travis, a seventh-generation farmer in central Illinois who watched his land and community fall victim to the pressures of big agribusiness. Determined to create a proud legacy for his son, Marty transforms his profitless wasteland and pioneers the sustainable food movement in Chicago.

"Sustainable" travels the country seeking leadership and wisdom from some of the most forward thinking farmers like Bill Niman, Klaas Martens and John Kempf -- heroes who challenge the ethical decisions behind industrial agriculture. It is a story of hope and transformation, about passion for the land and a promise that it can be restored to once again sustain us.

Matt Wechsler and Annie Speicher are the storytellers at Hourglass Films behind "Sustainable." The film is a passion project for them, combining their roles as food activists with their talents as documentary filmmakers. "Sustainable" was screened at over 20 film festivals around the world and won the 2016 Accolade Global Humanitarian Award for Outstanding Achievement. Their past work includes the 2012 New York Emmy-nominated documentary "Different is the New Normal", which aired nationally on PBS and was narrated by Michael J. Fox. They are currently working on a new film called "Right to Harm" about the health effects of factory farming on rural Americans. The film is set to premiere this year.

The film is part of the free monthly fourth-Friday Film programs that are sponsored by the Social Justice Team of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Geneva. The public is encouraged to register at to receive email notices of future programs.

The Unitarian Universalist Society of Geneva, established in 1842 and the oldest church in Geneva, is a diverse, welcoming community that endeavors to make its covenant a living reality. They provide religious education and opportunities for spiritual growth. They encourage individual and mutual responsibility as together they work to be a liberal religious voice in the community and a force for compassionate social justice. For more information, visit

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