Any adult documentary filmmaker of average size could reasonably be labeled a “pint-sized Michael Moore,” but the guerrilla filmmaker in the video below is actually a child, so he certainly qualifies. And he’s mad as hell about how gross his school lunches are and he’s not going to take it anymore.
He’s Zachary Maxwell (not his real name, since he’s just a kid) and, like pretty much every kid on the planet, he likes to complain about the vegetables in his meals. Unlike all the other kids, however, his squabble is that he’s not getting enough vegetables — and the ones he is getting aren’t appealing to him.
Let’s let him explain:
The above clip is an excerpt from the movie Yuck: A 4th Grader’s Short Documentary About School Lunch. Maxwell got the idea for the project after he asked his parents if he could start packing a lunch for school — despite the fact that P.S. 130 Hernando De Soto in Manhattan offers students a free, hot lunch. After smuggling home footage of his less-than-appealing lunches, his dad decided to help him make a movie to get his ideas out.
Like Moore, Maxwell is no stranger to controversy. His movie project was almost derailed last year after he was caught filming his food without a teacher’s permission and instructed to delete the footage from his camera. Like a seasoned guerrilla filmmaker, Maxwell simply pretended to delete the files.
Additionally, a spokesperson for the school board has accused Maxwell of doctoring his footage by selectively serving himself lunches that didn’t include certain elements, like the veggies he claims are never present.
Since the debut of his film, Maxwell has been asked to serve as an advisor to the New York City Department of Education’s Office of School Food. He brings his lunch from home now and no longer eats the food at his school, though. As Moore is often criticized for the indulgent and hypocritical lifestyle he lives while earning a living fighting for the poor and voiceless, Maxwell may soon have to answer for his own lunchtime politics.