image from Tazzeka
Be sure you eat something before attending the films in this series, otherwise you may need to duck out of the theatre mid-film and head to the nearest Chinese take-out or ramen shop, as the food on screen is sure to make your mouth water! As reported in the Food section of the L.A. Times, Lulu Wang’s “The Farewell has quickly become one of the summer’s must-see films — making viewers laugh, cry ... and become incredibly hungry. And that’s the point. Food plays a central role in The Farewell, a movie that anyone can relate to when it comes to family dynamics around the dinner table. There is an entire scene that takes place around a lazy Susan, a lavish wedding banquet spread and poignant moments in the kitchen cooking together.” Food and family is a timeless combination, but some of the other films in the series offer more unusual depictions of the role food plays in people’s lives around the world. Soufra, one of two documentaries in the series, tells the inspirational story of the first-ever refugee food truck, the undertaking of Mariam Shaar – a generational refugee who has spent her entire life in the Burj El Barajneh refugee camp just south of Beirut. Her work has been so successful that you can even go to the film’s website to get recipes (or buy a cookbook!) for some of the delicious food seen on screen (Makrouta, Coconut Namoura, Dolmas and more!). And after watching Tazzeka, you’ll want to research some of the Moroccan dishes on display in this ultimately feel-good film about a young man who dreams of becoming a chef in Paris.