“Hello, and welcome to another episode of the BBC’s ‘Film 2114’. This week we will be focussing on a potential British Oscar winner ’12 years a Foodbank User’. Most people, who haven’t studied this area of history will probably be unaware of what a ‘foodbank’ is. I will tell you now, and I promise, you won’t believe a word I say, but it’s all true. A foodbank is a place people went to when in a financial crisis; they had not been provided by appropriate financial support from the state or they were not earning enough through work. A foodbank would then provide these people in crisis with 3 days emergency food supplies. Unthinkable, I know!
You’ll be thinking that only a tiny number of people would have to use something like this, but in actual fact foodbanks were used over 900,000 times in 2013/14. I know, I couldn’t believe it either! The film would be hilarious in its ridiculousness if it wasn’t a true depiction of the times.
The film does a brilliant job at juxtaposing differing societal concepts in order to emphasise the absurdity of the country’s situation.
One scene depicts the NHS caring for a sick man; this was a nationalised NHS, prior to the privatisation of services and the re-nationalisation following the 2040s death rate scandal; who could have predicted capitalist corporations wouldn’t genuinely care about health care! The sick man is cared for in an NHS hospital and when discharged he is deemed fit to work and forced to take a zero hours contract at which point he becomes financially destitute and begins using foodbanks. Again I’ll have to tell you what a zero hours contract is; this is where a person is contracted to work, thus not entitled to job seeker benefits but also is not guaranteed any work each week and has no stable income; if any income at all. I know, farcical!
In another scene we see the hero using a foodbank; receiving charitable donations of tinned goods while the House of Lords discussed whether they should take foie gras off the menu. This really happened! We found a statistic that at this time the 1% wealthiest in England owned 54% of the wealth; no wonder they could afford their little goose livers with such unbalanced and unfair distribution of wealth!
In one of the final scenes our hero is evicted from his house as the landlord realises he can charge more for the property despite our hero being unable to pay more. We see our hero walking the streets in the rain looking for shelter, with shots spliced from the 2014’s Queen’s Speech where we see the royal family resplendent in grandeur. As the Queen begins to touch on austerity our hero finally finds shelter only to find that spikes have been put down to deter homeless people from resting there. Another fun statistic; back when we still had a Royal family in 2014, the Queen alone cost the taxpayer 32 million pounds a year!
In 2013 a film called ’12 years a slave’ was released which looked at a man tricked in to slavery; at the time many condemned humanity for such shocking action. But, ‘12 years a Foodbank User’ goes to show how you can’t judge humanity because it is only run on the values and beliefs systems of the epoch. Also people are too close at the time to gain perspective on the horror of some of your own state’s actions. Perhaps people, in 100 years time, will look back on our state ethos based on the fact that the state ultimately controls the movement of all the wealth of a nation and therefore they have a moral obligation to support its constituents. Obviously, I’m only joking!
Next time, we look at a film depicting a dystopian picture of the present in 2114 focusing on what the world would have looked like if we didn’t start giving a crap about climate change; I promise you it’s horrifying image!”
You can follow me on Twitter @think_damn_it or the satirical image artist @Rowland72James