Free Public Screening of “Recipes for Disaster” Set for Oct. 7

September 28, 2009

Tim Lucas, 919-613-8084,

DURHAM, N.C. – Can a suburban family of four live without oil for a year?

Filmmaker John Webster decided to try. The result of his experiment is Recipes for Disaster, an 85-minute documentary that chronicles the challenges Webster, his wife and two small children face as they attempt to complete a one-year “oil detox” without compromising their Anglo-Finnish middle-class suburban lifestyle.

Webster will join a local audience, via remote Web conferencing from his home in Finland, for a screening and discussion of clips from the movie at 6 p.m. Wednesday, October 7 at Love Auditorium in the Levine Science Research Center on Duke University’s West campus.

The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. To reserve a seat, register online by Friday, Oct. 2.

The screening and talk is the Duke Environmental Leadership (DEL) Program’s Fall 2009 Coca-Cola Seminar.

Part comedy of errors, part modern morality tale, Recipes for Disaster has won numerous awards at international film festivals for its honest, often painfully funny appraisal of what happens when a typical family tries to live a year free of fossil fuels, cars, airplanes, and anything made from petroleum products or packaged in plastic. It’s filmed in English and Finnish.

Deborah Rigling Gallagher, executive director of the DEL program and assistant professor of the practice of environmental policy at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment, will moderate the event. An eco-reception, featuring sustainable food and beverage choices, will follow.

The free, public seminar is held annually as part of the Coca-Cola Seminar Series, which is made possible by a gift from the Coca-Cola Foundation.