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The 13th Culinary Cinema at Berlinale Film Festival was held from February 7 to 17 with a programme reflecting its respect for filmmakers who use their craft to pay tribute to the individual work of farmers, fishers and chefs. The power of the industry and fights against the increasing trivialisation, both in filmmaking and food, were on the spotlight during the ten-days event.
The Culinary Cinema's programme draws attention to the fact that taste is not only a culinary but also a cultural value: everybody of us should be involved in the wind of changes. For some of the events, some top chefs were asked to create and cook a menu inspired by the evening’s film which was then served to the cinema audience in the Gropius Mirror pop-up restaurant.
What food and film have to share? First of all, they both speak through emotions. Then, while in cinemas there are snack menus and at home the "TV dinner" habit, in the Culinary Cinema watching films and eating food are parallel but separated so each element can receive its due attention. The two then come together in our minds so a feast of the senses becomes a meaningful evening. “Film and food have several things in common. Not only are they enjoyed within a certain period of time, but they are also created out of a variety of elements. The art is to keep the ingredients and time in balance,” comments curator Thomas Struck.
In this edition of Culinary Cinema, the topic of “a taste of balance” comes up in all the films. “Keeping taste in balance is not just a good idea for a healthy diet, but also a recipe for maintaining democracy,” says Festival Director Dieter Kosslick in explaining the motto.
Below, you can join our journey through the most meaningful screenings. Let's dream together!
Aruna & Lidahnya by Edwin (Indonesia)
A culinary journey through Indonesia based on a novel written by award-winning writer Laksmi Pamuntjak. The Duc Ngo served his interpretation of Indonesian cuisine.
Complicity by Kei Chikaura (Japan/China)
A spotlight on the precarious situation of an illegal Chinese immigrant, whose destiny is bound to the future of a soba restaurant in Japan.
Delband | Beloved by Yaser Talebi (Iran)
The everyday life of an 80-year-old female cowherd in Northern Iran.
Ghost Fleet by Shannon Service, Jeffrey Waldron (Usa)
Ghost Fleet accompanies Thai activists who are committed to freeing enslaved fishermen.
La herencia del viento | Wind Heritage by Alejandra Retana, César Camacho, César Hernández (Mexico)
La herencia del viento (Wind Heritage), a short film about a Mexican farmer’s bond with nature.
Sembradoras de vida | Mothers of the Land by Álvaro & Diego Sarmiento (Peru)
Women farmers in the highlands of Peru adhere to ancient traditions, even though climate change threatens their lives.
The Biggest Little Farm by John Chester (USA)
The filmmaking farmer John Chester shows how he and his team have transformed 80 hectares of parched land in California into fertile soil and restored the balance between nature and culture. For the premiere, Sebastian Frank (two Michelin stars, “Horváth”, Berlin) presented his vision of a local seasonal meal.
The Heat: A Kitchen (R)evolution by Maya Gallus (Canada)
The film depicts a paradox: everyone’s first experience with food is in the womb; and in the following years, it is often women who care for our culinary needs. Yet in the kitchens of top restaurants women hardly play a role. The reasons for this inequality are not only the subject of this film, was also discussed with director Maya Gallus, star chef Angela Hartnett, and Parabere Forum president Maria Canabal.
When Tomatoes Met Wagner by Marianna Economou (Greece)
How the economic situation in a Greek village has been improved by cultivating organic tomatoes with the help of Richard Wagner’s music.
Y en cada lenteja un dios | A God in Each Lentil by Miguel Ángel Jiménez (Spain)
The balance between work and private life issue: Kiko Moya and his family are the second generation to run the restaurant “L'Escaleta” in Alicante, one of the 25 best restaurants in Spain and Portugal with two Michelin stars. Kiko Moya presented the evening and cooked himself fllowing the screening.