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Culinary Cinema at Berlinale 2009

A taste for the truth is the common theme of the films in the Culinary Cinema of the Berlinale, which is taking place for the third time from February 8-13, 2009. This year, the programme comprises five feature films, five documentaries and four short films which are to be shown accompanied by culinary highlights and discussions.

On February 8, events will begin with hard facts on the food industry served up by the American documentary Food, Inc. by Robert Kenner in the new Berlinale cinema Friedrichstadtpalast. The protagonists and best-selling authors Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser will take part in the discussion following the film.
“People are finally beginning to talk about food as the most important factor in our survival. Many people are not aware of what is happening around the world on a daily basis in terms of food poisoning, speculation with grain crops and the creation of potentially disastrous monocultures.” After the discussion, top Berlin chef Tim Raue will prepare a delicious - culinarily correct - dish for us to get a taste for.

After this opening event, Michelin starred cuisine and culinary cinema will be on offer in the Martin-Gropius-Bau and the neighbouring ‘Gropius Mirror’ restaurant. The melancholic comedy, Pranzo di Ferragosto directed by and starring Gianni Di Gregorio, portrays the slightly strained relationship between a mother and her 59 year old son whose fish dish has inspired the Luxemburg chef, Lea Linster. The Spanish comedy, Dieta Mediterránea by Joaquín Oristrell, about a romantic love triangle set between the bedroom and the kitchen inspires Kolja Kleeberg to make a hot Venus mussel dish. The new star in the Vitrum restaurant, Hendrik Otto, will prepare braised Lamb according to a recipe handed down from his grandmother for the Bosnian film Snijeg, an Aidi Begic film about the hope of women in a destroyed village. The meeting of thousands of farmers from all over the world, organised by Slow Food, was the impulse for the Italian master director Ermanno Olmi to make the documentary Terra Madre. The film will have its world premiere in the official Berlinale Special programme on February 6 in the Cinema Paris and will be shown on February 12 in the Culinary Cinema. The international Slow Food movement shares many common values with Culinary Cinema.

After the late screening at 10 p.m., the “Gropius Mirror” restaurant will be serving à la carte food and drinks. The sweet opening is provided by the gay comedy Antique by Min Kyo-Dong about love in a small Korean confectionery. A bitter-sweet love story in the sugar plantations is told by the feature-length documentary Haiti Chérie by Claudio del Punta. ‘How far is an environmental activist allowed to go?’ is the question posed by the militant anti-whaling activist, Paul Watson, in Ron Colby’s Pirate for the Sea. The documentary Nos Enfants Nous Accuseront by Jean-Paul Jaud shows how children make the best activists for environmental protection.

Pupils of the Berlin John F. Kennedy School will be invited, on the Culinary Cinema’s children’s day, to a screening of What’s On Your Plate by Catherine Gund. Two Afro-American girls investigate food on offer in New York. After the film, the children will cook a vegetarian lunch with the help of the gastronomic head of the Culinary Cinema, Alf Wagenzink of Catering’s Best by InterContinental. The Kreuzberg youth project “die gelbe Villa” is supporting this project.

Thomas Struck, director of the third Culinary Cinema, comments on the programme, “Food and drink is not only a question of taste but also politics. In addition to casting your ballot, you can ‘vote with your fork’ and through what you buy. People who are not starving can decide, three times a day, what they eat. What is eaten and how has consequences for mankind and the biological and cultural diversity on the planet. Every bite counts.”

Tickets will be available from January 19, 2009 online at and at all Berlin box offices.
For further information visit:

Films in Culinary Cinema 2009

Antique Republic of Korea
By MIN Kyu-Dong
With JU Ji-hun, KIM Jae-wook, Andy GILLET, YU Ain, CHOI Ji-ho

Dieta mediterránea (Mediterranean Food) Spain
By Joaquín Oristrell
With Olivia Molina, Paco León, Alfonso Bassave

Food, Inc. USA
Documentary by Robert Kenner
With Eric Schlosser, Michael Pollan
European premiere

Haiti Chèrie Italy
By Claudio Del Punta
With Juan Carlos Campos, Yeraini Cuevas, Jean Marie Guerin, Valentin Valdez

Pirate for the Sea USA
Documentary by Ron Colby

Pranzo Di Ferragosto Italy
By Gianni Di Gregorio
With Marina Cacciotti, Maria Calì, Gianni Di Gregorio, Valeria De Franciscis, Grazia Cesarini Sforza

Snijeg (Snow) Bosnia and Herzegovina
By Aida Begić
With Jasna Beri, Emir Hadžihafisbegović, Zana Marjanović, Vesna Masić, Sadzida Setić
(also showing in Generation)

Terra Madre Italy
Documentary by Ermanno Olmi (The Tree with the Wooden Clogs)
World premiere
(also showing in Berlinale Special)

Nos enfants nous accuseront (That Should Not Be – Our Children Will Accuse Us) France
Documentary by Jean-Paul Jaud

What's on Your Plate? USA
Documentary by Catherine Gund
World premiere

Short Films

Buono come il pane Italy
By Giancarlo Matcovich
With Ursula Heinzelmann, Peter Klann, Heinz Weichardt

La Cuisine USA
By François Vogel

Lo que trae la lluvia (Along came the rain) Chile
By Alejandro Fernández Almendras
With Olga Muñoz, Antonio Guajardo

Pasta Connection Italy
By UniSG

Plac Croatia
By Ana Husman

Silent Snow The Netherlands
By Jan van den Berg
With Pipaluk Hammeken, Sarah Lyberth

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