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Berlinale 2012

Culinary Cinema 2012 at Berlinale

Culinary Cinema 2012: “Trust in Taste”

"Trust in Taste” is the motto of the 6th Culinary Cinema of the 62nd Berlinale that will be held from February 12 to 17, 2012. Fifteen films about food and the environment will be presented in the Martin-Gropius-Bau. Following the screenings, at 7:30 pm, renowned chef Sonja Frühsammer and star chefs Michael Kempf, Christian Lohse, Marco Müller from Berlin as well as Andoni Luis Aduriz from the Basque Country will each serve a meal inspired by the films in the “Gropius Mirror” restaurant, an elegant tent lined with mirrors. 

“Food is a matter of trust,” Dieter Kosslick says about this year’s motto. “Consumers shouldn’t just focus on organic tags and finely printed labels, but above all trust their sense of taste. Experienced cooks can taste if food has been industrially mass produced, and if binders, flavour enhancers or other additives have been used. Taste is a matter of experience and that’s what you can also gain at the Berlinale’s Culinary Cinema.”

“Before serving culinary delicacies, we’ll be showing recent cinematic treats in which food and taste are looked at from many different angles,” curator Thomas Struck comments about the programme. Comme un chef (The Chef) by Daniel Cohen, a French comedy, will kick off the series. The film is as light and tasty as the brioches that chef Lagarde (Jean Reno) bakes for his daughter to keep peace in the family as well as rescue French haute cuisine from molecular cooking. Sonja Frühsammer will serve a meal following the film.

 This year’s Culinary Cuisine includes a remarkable number of premieres. Over the past five years the programme has established itself.

In Juantxo Sardon’s Mugaritz B.S.O., musician Felipe Ugarte translates delicious and visually pleasing culinary dishes made by Basque star chef Andoni Luis Aduriz from San Sebastián into music. The musician and the cook show how ingredients for a dish and music develop worldwide out of a region’s landscape and tradition. Andoni Luis Aduriz is coming extra to Berlin to prepare a meal for his film.


Entre les Bras (Step Up to the Plate) by Paul Lacoste documents the stirring change of generations at the French three-star restaurant Bras in Laguiole. Father Michel Bras is convinced that getting to the top is easier than staying there. After this documentary, Michael Kempf will have the delicate task of creating a meal inspired by the French cuisine.

In the documentary Last Call at the Oasis by Oscar-winner Jessica Yu, experts and tireless activists, such as the real Erin Brockovich, fight the local and global misuse of water. Filmmakers and experts discuss surprising ways to solve the shortage of water. One proposal involves recycling wastewater. Christian Lohse will cook a meal for the occasion.


In TSAO Jui-Yuan’s fictional film Joyful Reunion, a top vegetarian chef is forced to close his restaurant because he has lost his memory. When he eats a dish from his childhood, his memory comes back and he recognizes his first love again. Named Cook of the Year by Der Feinschmecker magazine, Marco Müller will prepare a meal that captures this melodrama.


The late screenings at 10 p.m. will focus on social and ecological topics. In Das Rohe und das Gekochte (The Raw and the Cooked) Monika Treut documents the emergent green movement in Taiwan. On a powerful visual journey around the world, Canned Dreams depicts the plight of all the workers who contribute to producing a can of ravioli. Lupe el de la Vaca (Lupe of the Cow) presents several small-scale Mexican farmers who master their harsh lives with humour and music. In the Korean gangster film Hindsight, the boss of a gang falls in love with a fellow student during a course in cooking. In Oma & Bella, Alexa Karolinski portrays how her grandmother and her grandmother’s girlfriend cultivate Jewish traditions in Charlottenburg.

A number of shorts films will supplement the programme: Should The Wife Confess? (Bernardo Camisão), Asparragos (Laura Zuallaert), Lepokoa (Safy Nebbou) and Pokot Ash Yoghurt (Francesco Amato, Stefano Scarafia).


“Youth Food Cinema” will address the importance of traditions in the family at 9:30 a.m. on February 17. The Mexican film Canela (Cinnamon) by Jordi Mariscal tells the story of a girl, her grandmother and their love of cooking. Afterwards, the chef of the Mexican embassy, Armando Hernández, will prepare a Mexican meal with students. As Grandmother Tere says in the film: “Cooking well is not a question of age but of talent.”


“TeaTime” will host readings, discussions and tastings in the “Gropius Mirror” tent at 5 p.m. On February 14, Michael Hoffmann will present his new cookbook for the blind and sighted: “Trust in Taste”. Following the presentation, guests will be served finger foods based on recipes from the book (in German, admission 10 euros).

On Feb. 15, there will be a discussion entitled “The Real Erin Brockovich” with the environmental activist Erin Brockovich. She will talk about her latest experiences in the battle for a clean environment (in English, participation upon registration only: at kulinarisches.kino@berlinale.de).

25 million people have seen Steven Soderbergh’s film Erin Brockovich starring Julia Roberts.

Advance ticket sales for Culinary Cinema begin at 10 a.m. on February 6, 2012 at the central ticket counters in the Arkaden am Potsdamer Platz, Kino International and the Haus der Berliner Festspiele, as well as online at www.berlinale.de and theatre ticket offices linked with the Eventim network.

The programme is sponsored by WMF, the official partner of Culinary Cinema, and highly professional supplier of modern cook- and tableware.

Films in Culinary Cinema 2012

Canela (Cinnamon) Mexico

By Jordi Mariscal

With Ana Martín, Isabel Yudice, Norma Angélica, Mónica Dionne, Carlos Cobos

World premiere


Canned Dreams Finland

Documentary by Katja Gauriloff

International premiere


Comme un chef (The Chef) France

By Daniel Cohen

With Jean Reno, Michaël Youn, Raphaëlle Agogué, Julien Boisselier, Salomé Stevenin, Serge Larivière, Issa Doumbia, Bun Hay Mean

International premiere


Entre les Bras (Step Up to the Plate) France

Documentary by Paul Lacoste

World premiere


Hindsight Republic of Korea

By Lee Hyeon-seung

With Song Gang-ho, Shin Se-kyung, Chun Jeong-myung

European premiere


Joyful Reunion Taiwan/China

By Tsao Jui-Yuan

With Gua Ahleh, Huo Siyan, Lan Zheng-Long (Blue), Kenneth Tsang

World premiere


Last Call at the Oasis USA

Documentary by Jessica Yu

International premiere


Lupe el de la Vaca (Lupe of the Cow) Mexico

Documentary by Blanca X. Aguerre

International premiere


Mugaritz B.S.O. Spain

Documentary by Felipe Ugarte, Juantxo Sardon

German premiere


Oma & Bella Germany/USA

Documentary by Alexa Karolinski

World premiere


Das Rohe und das Gekochte (The Raw and the Cooked) Germany/Taiwan

Documentary by Monika Treut

World premiere



Short films


Asparragos Belgium/Peru

Documentary by Laura Zuallaert

German premiere


Lepokoa (The Scarf) Spain/France 2003

By Safy Nebbou

With Pilar Rodríguez, Joseba Apaolaza, Olatz Beobide, Manu Gaigne


Pokot Ash Yoghurt (Living Food Communities) Italy

Documentary by Francesco Amato, Stefano Scarafia

World premiere


Should The Wife Confess? Belgium/Portugal

By Bernardo Camisão

With Sofia Caessa, Hilbren Buys

German premiere


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