published COOKED Home Use House Party License 2018-10-24 13:08:13 -0400

published Resources 2012-01-20 01:01:45 -0500


COOKED: Survival by ZIP Code Screening Resources

The Discussion Guide will contain the following for your screening use:
• about the film & filmmakers • ready to watch! screening guide
ready to talk! discussion guide • ready to act! handout


COOKED: Survival by ZIP Code
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COOKED: Survival by Zip Code Screening Poster


COOKED: Survival by ZIP Code
Discussion Guide
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COOKED: Survival by Zip Code Discussion Guide

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Color of Change exists to strengthen Black America's political voice. Their goal is to empower members - Black Americans and allies - to make government more responsive to the concerns of Black Americans and to bring about positive political and social change for everyone.

National Equal Justice Association (NEJA) has provided timely and strategically critical aid to groupings of people isolated sometimes by geography, but worse by deeply ingrained public and social policies that perpetuate poverty and injustice. NEJA, itself an all-volunteer organization, was formed to aid locally based efforts fighting to end patterns of injustice, particularly those encountered by the most poorly paid workforces of our nation. NEJA works with those who are carving out a definition of equal justice through positive example.

Race Matters Institute works toward a more just and vibrant nation where every child, family and community thrives. For more than a decade we have helped government units, nonprofits, community-based and regional organizations, philanthropies, and state and national networks to become more race-informed and equity-focused in their work.



How “Cooked” Evolved into an Investigation of the Disaster Underlying a Disaster (PBS)

‘Cooked’: Edifying documentary sheds light on Chicago’s deadly ‘95 heat wave (Chicago Sun-Times)

Extreme Heat Is Deadlier Than Hurricanes, Floods and Tornadoes Combined (Scientific American)

Climate Change and Social Vulnerability in the United States: A Focus on Six Impacts (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA))

Heat and Health (World Health Organization (WHO))



Eric Klinenberg, Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2002.

Richard Rothstein, The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, Liveright Publishing Corporation, 2017.

Elizabeth Rush, Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore, Milkweed Editions, 2018.

David Wallace-Wells, The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming, Tim Duggan Books, 2019.

Todd Miller, Storming the Wall: Climate Change, Migration, and Homeland Security, City Lights Books, 2017.

Amitav Ghosh, The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable, University of Chicago Press, 2016.

Ilan Kelman, Disaster by Choice: How Our Actions Turn Natural Hazards into Catastrophes, Oxford University Press, 2020.

Rob Nixon, Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor, Harvard University Press, 2011.

Julian Agyeman, Robert D. Bullard, and Bob Evans (eds.), Environmental Justice and Climate Change: Assessing the Evidence and Charting a New Course, MIT Press, 2003.

Ottavio Quirico and Mouloud Boumghar (eds.), Climate Change, Human Rights, and the Law, Routledge, 2016.

published Order COOKED 2012-01-20 00:49:16 -0500

published Home 2012-01-20 00:19:40 -0500


Interested in hosting a virtual screening? Inquire here!


From award-winning filmmaker Judith Helfand, COOKED: Survival by ZIP Code reveals the ways in which class, race, and zip code predetermine unequal response and recovery to environmental disaster. By linking the deadly Chicago heat wave of 1995 to the underlying manmade disaster of structural racism, Helfand's film delves deep into one of our nation's biggest growth industries: Disaster Preparedness.

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"COOKED chronicles the painful truth that waiting for the government can be hazardous to your health. The twin vulnerability of poverty and race placed African Americans at special risk in the 1995 Chicago heat wave. In America, zip code is more important than genetic code and some people and communities have the wrong complexion for protection."
Dr. Robert D. Bullard, Professor, Urban Planning and Environmental Policy, Texas Southern University, Author, Race, Place, and Environmental Justice After Hurricane Katrina

"This film is searing, smart and insightful...The film asks important questions with humor, humility, and humanity. This film can be used in a wide range of classrooms with social and ethnic studies and health policy as well as in public contexts of churches, community groups, and other venues."
Julie Sze, Professor of American Studies, Founding Director, Environmental Justice Project, University of California - Davis, Author, Noxious New York: The Racial Politics of Urban Health and Environmental Justice

"This is an important film that makes the often missed connections between poverty and environmental harms. Simple solutions to environmental threats focused solely on environmental responses will leave too many people in danger. I highly recommend this film for broadening awareness of the links between environmental justice, social justice, and poverty."
Nancy C. Loeb, Clinical Associate Professor of Law, Director, Environmental Advocacy Clinic, Northwestern University

"Provides a sobering look back at one of the worst natural disasters in Chicago's recent history while shedding much-needed light on the slow-moving, man-made crisis of socioeconomic inequality that threatens not only the most vulnerable zip codes in Chicago, but cities and towns across the country."
Jay Koziarz, Curbed Chicago

"A much-needed slap in the face to the American people...It's time that those of us with privilege do something to help those who don't."
Lorry Kikta, Film Threat


published Join COOKED 2012-01-20 00:01:00 -0500

published COOKED Screenings 2012-01-20 00:01:00 -0500

Announcing COOKED: Survival by Zip Code Screenings

After you book a screening of COOKED, list your screening here and use our social-media tools to publicize your event. List your screening by clicking the button above!

published About COOKED: Survival by ZIP Code 2012-01-20 00:01:00 -0500

About COOKED: Survival by ZIP Code


Chicago suffered the worst heat disaster in U.S history in 1995, when 739 residents—mostly elderly and black—died over the course of one week. As COOKED: Survival by Zip Code links the deadly heat wave's devastation back to the underlying manmade disaster of structural racism, it delves deep into one of our nation's biggest growth industries: Disaster Preparedness.

Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Judith Helfand (Blue Vinyl, Everything's Cool), uses her signature serious-yet-quirky connect-the-dots-style to forge inextricable connections between the cataclysmic natural disasters we're willing to see and prepare for and the slow-motion disasters we're not. That is, until an extreme weather event hits and they are made exponentially more deadly and visible.

But whether it was the heat wave in Chicago or Hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, Harvey, Irma and Maria, all of these disasters share something key: they reveal the ways in which class, race, and zip code predetermine who was living on the edge to start with, who gets hurt the worst, who recovers and bounces back—and who doesn't. In COOKED: Survival by Zip Code, Helfand challenges herself and others to truly see and respond to the invisible man-made disasters taking place in towns and cities across the country before the next "natural" disaster hits.

COOKED: Survival by Zip Code is an adaptation of "HEAT WAVE: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago" (2002), Eric Klinenberg's groundbreaking book

82 and 54 minutes on the same DVD
SDH captions for the deaf and hard-of- hearing

Directed by Judith Helfand
Produced by Judith Helfand, Fenell Doremus
Editors: Simeon Hunter, David E. Simpson
Original Music: T. Griffin
Cinematography: Tod Lending, Stanley J. Staniski, Keith Walker
Executive Producers for ITVS: Sally Jo Fifer, Lois Vossen
A co-production of Judith Helfand Productions, Kartemquin Films and Independent Television Service (ITVS) with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB)

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published Discussion 2012-01-20 00:01:00 -0500