“In The Food For Love” is the motto of the Berlinale’s 4th Culinary Cinema, which will be held from February 14 to 19, 2010. Eleven films revolving around the relationship between food and love, nature, and the environment will be presented in the movie theatre at the Martin-Gropius-Bau. Following the 7:30 p.m. screenings in the main programme, star chefs Thomas Kammeier, Michael Kempf, Lea Linster, Christian Lohse, and Tim Raue will present dinners inspired by the films in the “Gropius Mirror” restaurant, a tent lined with mirrors.
“The concept for the series has proven successful”, says Dieter Kosslick, “we show films that whet our audiences’ appetites and then we cook for them. Though we also show films that ruin their appetites, for instance, films that open their eyes to the catastrophic global food situation.”
Tilda Swinton, who was Berlinale Jury President in 2009, is joining director Luca Guadagnino to present the film Io Sono L’Amore (I Am Love), that will kick off this year’s Culinary Cinema. “Food for Love” – that means ingredients that are good for love play a crucial role in this melodrama. Christian Lohse will cook a “Russian-Italian declaration of love” to honour the film, in which Tilda Swinton plays a Russian who marries into a rich Milanese family.
In Dastoor -e Ashpazi (Iranian Cookbook), Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Shirvani takes a look into the pots of six housewives who are cooking a meal at the end of a day during Ramadan. He raises the following question: Is cooking love or duty? For Thomas Kammeier, it’s the inspiration for stewing a dish he calls “Docile Lamb”.
Renowned documentary filmmakers Chris Hegedus and D. A. Pennebaker observe a pastry competition in Kings of Pastry. Without a doubt, creating such fragile works out of sugar is an art requiring no words to express that love is sweet. Luxemburg chef Lea Linster will pay tribute to the film by making duck en croute.
The Botany of Desire, adapted from the bestseller of the same name by Michael Pollan (Food, Inc.), shows that plants are also able to love. The film reveals the clever strategies used by plants to reproduce themselves with the assistance of human passions. This documentary is being screened to mark the 20th anniversary of the Slow Food movement. For the occasion, Michael Kempf will braise Mecklenburg bison rump.
At four late-night screenings (10 p.m.), social and ecological themes will take centre stage. In Chris Smith’s Collapse, former CIA agent Michael Ruppert sarcastically develops visions of a world without crude oil. BANANAS!* gives viewers insight into the scrupleless production of this tropical fruit by a large US company. Hannes Jaenicke will present his documentation Im Einsatz für Haie (Hannes Jaenicke´s Wildlife Underground: Sharks) and discuss with the audience how biodiversity can be sustained. A classic of Indian cinema is Manthan (The Churning), financed by 500,000 dairy farmers in 1976, that documents the formation of a milk producers’ cooperative. In the fifth late-night screening, Ki-Chin (The Naked Kitchen) by Korean director HONG Ji-young, everything revolves around love again, though this time it involves a ménage à trois and a new restaurant.
At 9:30 a.m. on February 19, during “Young Culinary Cinema”, a discussion will be held on food and ecology with young people from Berlin’s Nelson Mandela School. The film The Rainbow Warriors of Waiheke Island depicts the journeys of the first Greenpeace ship and how it was sunk. Interconti chef Alf Wagenzink and Wam Kat will create a meal for the occasion. Wam Kat has cooked at many big demonstrations over the years; he was also a member of the Rainbow Warrior crew.
In discussions on several afternoons, topics related to this year’s Culinary Cinema will be explored in more depth. At “Fruit Salad” on February 16, Fredrik Gertten, the director of BANANAS!* will discuss his experiences with fruit companies, the alternatives, and fair trade. On February 17, at “Books to Cook”, two Berlin authors will present their recent works: Susanne Kippenberger will read from “Am Tisch” (“At the table”) and Zhang Yu from “Buddha sprang über die Mauer” (“Buddha jumped over the Wall”), a book about Chinese cooking. The basic rule of cooking applies here too, says Culinary Cinema director, Thomas Struck: “A love for food is the most important ingredient in creating food for love.”
Pre-sales for the event begin online on January 18, 2010, at www.berlinale.de or at theatre ticket offices in Berlin.
For more information, go to: www.berlinale.de
Films screening in Culinary Cinema 2010:
Documentary by Fredrik Gertten
Documentary by Chris Smith
Dastoor –e Ashpazi (Iranian Cookbook) Iran
Documentary by Mohammad Shirvani
Im Einsatz für Haie (Hannes Jaenicke´s Wildlife Underground: Sharks) Germany
Documentary by Judith Adlhoch and Eva Gfirtner
with Hannes Jaenicke
Io Sono L’Amore (I am Love) Italy
by Luca Guadagnino
with Tilda Swinton, Flavio Parenti, Edoardo Gabbriellini, Alba Rohrwacher, Pippo Delbono, Maria Paiato
Ki-Chin (The Naked Kitchen) Republic of Korea
by HONG Ji-young
with SHIN Mina, JU Ji-hun, KIM Tae-woo
Kings of Pastry USA / Netherlands / Great Britain
Documentary by Chris Hegedus & D. A. Pennebaker
Manthan (The Churning) India
by Shyam Benegal
with Girish Karnad, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Smita Patil, Amrish Patil, Naseeruddin Shah
The Botany of Desire USA
Documentary by Michael Schwarz
with Michael Pollan
The Rainbow Warriors of Waiheke Island Netherlands
Documentary by Suzanne Raes
January 13, 2010