This ambitious documentary from filmmaker Steve Alves traces the history of food cooperatives in the United States, from the 19th century to the present day, noting how their popularity has waxed and waned along with shifts in the political climate. Widely prevalent during the Depression, food co-ops were assailed in later decades as socialist enterprises that didn’t pay their fair share of taxes. Co-ops were again popular in the 1960s and ’70s but lost traction until recent years, as the fallout of economic recession has led to a resurgence, with dozens of new ventures opening and hundreds more being developed. Alves zeroes in on the travails of his hometown store in Massachusetts, but historic and contemporary footage, expert interviews, and archival stills offer a broader context for his comments, which position the co-op movement within a frame of democratic values that are being expressed through an economic enterprise. A fine documentary on a timely subject, this is highly recommended.”--- 3-1/2 stars, Video Librarian
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