Would you like to doggy bag this?
Seth Hancock is a man who has never thought about the fast growing epidemic of elderly people in situations where they don’t know where their next meal is coming from. It’s likely you’ve never thought about it either, with so much going on in the world the last place you’d expect to find people struggling to eat is America.
This is “Leftovers”, a film about Seth Hancock, a photographer by trade, and his journey to get to the bottom of all this mess. On his journey we meet people from all walks of life affected by this issue, get told why we should care and learn how we can help.
Several people are featured over the course of its snug 70 minute run time. Meals on wheels volunteer Victor, and Golden age Hollywood dancer Carla are just 2 of the diverse characters featuring in the films 3 separate segments. Titled “Learning to Care”, “Giving a S**T” and “Looking for Solutions” they’re self explanatory segments and pretty obvious in their intentions.
Documentary films can be hard to judge. Sometimes the subject matter can be nobel & the intentions honorable but the technical and/or presentation side is lacking. Like a lecture you endured rather than enjoyed or made to feel other more appropriate emotions from. Leftovers unfortunately has some of these problems. The technical side is fine but the argument presented is too light. Rather than in depth textured profiles of people living with, or combating the issues, it gives you underdeveloped snapshots of them. Ultimately it feels like several charity infomercials taped together than a full film.
The film being bookended by director Seth Hancock also made the films message lose momentum. Scenes where he is featured are the most jarring because it felt like he was making the film out to be about his own journey rather than those suffering. The stories that needed to be told is of those in the thick of it all, not a guy who was told to make a film about them.
It might be a decent starting point for someone trying to learn or educate others about the issue, you’ll certainly leave the film feeling like you’ve learned, just not in the most effective of ways