Hungry Image


By Alan Ng | April 6, 2023

An elementary teacher discovers the importance of the civics lessons she teaches in Jillie and Thomas Simon’s short film, Hungry. Allison (Jillie Simon) ends her class with Abraham Lincoln’s famous “Government of the People, by the People, and for the People” speech. The teacher then notices that two of her students have been nodding off. Upon further investigation, Allison realizes that some students have negative balances on their school meal accounts and, like any good teacher, springs into action.

Allison soon finds out from Principal James (Verna Hampton) that the federal State National [sic] Assistance Program (SNAP) budget is being cut. The decrease is to pay for Congressman Dennis Thicke’s (Eric Roberts) “Big Agriculture” bill. With the backing of her husband, Zachary (Alex Emanuel), Allison decides to confront Congressman Thicke at a GOP fundraiser to somewhat disastrous results.

“…Allison decides to confront Congressman Thicke at a GOP fundraiser…”

Hungry is a short film that brings awareness to the importance of the school meal program that ensures children do not grow hungry and perform better mentally thanks to proper nutrition. The story also reinforces the fact that we are a representative government, and anyone has the right to speak to and sometimes confront our elected leaders. It just means finding the courage to do so. But, unfortunately, it’s also a harsh reality in this maddening game of politics.

The film is very low-budget, just having enough production resources to elevate it from a typical DIY film. Kudos to Jillie and Thomas Simon for snagging veteran actor Eric Roberts, the unsung hero of independent cinema. Yes, it’s low-budget, but I’ve seen Roberts in numerous indie projects, and he never phones it in.

The Simons did what we at Film Threat tell all emerging filmmakers to do: make your movie and put your dream on the big screen. That said, the tone is light, almost melodramatic, while I’m generally more drawn to more grounded and grittier stories. The plot feels like the simple good guy versus bad guy Western of the past. Allison is the hero to the rescue. She is the “David” facing the massive “Goliath,” represented by powerful Congressman Thicke. In the end, goodness prevails. Hungry has heart and a desire to inspire its audience to fight for our children’s future.

For screening information, visit the Hungry official website.

Hungry (2020)

Directed and Written: Jillie Simon, Thomas Simon

Starring: Jillie Simon, Alex Emanuel, Eric Roberts, etc.

Movie score: 6.5/10

Hungry Image

"…anyone has the right to speak to and sometimes confront our elected leaders."

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