The Berlinale is well under way and foodies all over the city have been enjoying some exceptional films from the Culinary Cinema section of the programme. This section presents 11 feature films all focusing on different aspects of food and our relationship with it. From harvest to preparation, dining to supply chain and of course films touching the issues around the politics of food and sustainably feeding ourselves today and beyond.
There are just two more days left of the culinary programme but still more than a dozen screenings and though the ticketing process can be overwhelming, you can bypass all of that by just turning up at the venue on the day and trying your luck. At this stage the premiere screenings of most of these films have passed so now is the best chance to get in and see some of these wonderful films. Tickets to culinary cinema screenings are available at the venue but also at the box office at the Arkaden at Potsdamer Platz. Ask the concierge for directions.
To how to find out what’s still screening – go to the Berlinale website and in the programme section select ‘Culinary’ and ‘Filter’. All the films and events still screening will appear and you can take your pick!
Here are some of our recommendations if you’re struggling to choose.
TODAY – WEDNESDAY 17th FEBRUARY
Dutch filmmaker Marijn Frank tackles the dilemmas presented to us when balancing the desire to eat meat with ethical considerations of farming it in the documentary Need for Meat. Screening at Martin Gropius Bau, there will be a menu on offer after the film, prepared by local chef Sonja Frühsammer, if the topic has not dissuaded you. There will also be a short talk about issues raised in the film. The full meal package with the film sells out fast so get in quick! Tickets for the film, meal and talk are €95 including food, wine and juice. There is an additional screening on Wednesday also at 7pm.
Portrait of a Garden screens also at Martin Gropius Bau, today at 5pm. This serene documentary follows 85 year old pruning master Jan Freriks’s work on a centuries old Dutch estate, maintaining the kitchen garden throughout the seasons alongside owner Daan van der Have. A great one for food lovers and gardeners alike.
THURSDAY 18TH FEBRUARY
Untangling the complex and confusing world of nutrition, In Defense of Food examines the overwhelming volume of information that comes at us about what we should and shouldn’t eat and distils it down to the basics. Screening at 10pm at Martin Gropius Bau. Tickets are €11. There is a menu event also for this film on Friday but sadly it’s invitation only. Unless you got an invite – then enjoy!
Wanton Mee is a must see if you’ve got a passion for Singaporean cuisine – or even if you know nothing about it. Disillusioned food critic Chung Fen Koh explores the changing face of local food as the digital world rapidly encroaches. In doing so he learns more than he expected about the origins of traditional Singaporean dishes and the histories of food stall owners who make them every day. Wanton Mee is screening at Martin Gropius Bau and there will be an after film menu prepared by Alexander Dressel & Jeunes Restaurateurs. Again – the full meal package with the film sells out fast so get in quick! Tickets for the film, meal and talk are €95 including food, wine and juice. There is an additional screening on Friday also at 7pm at CineStar Imax.
FRIDAY 19TH FEBRUARY
If you saw this week’s screenings of Noma – My Perfect Storm, you’ll definitely want to continue the journey with Ants on a Shrimp. Following the journey of chef René Redzepi’s passion project to take his whole team from Noma in Copenhagen to Japan for a year in 2015 and create menus with local food and ingredients, many of which none of the chefs have ever seen or heard of before. Screens at Martin Gropius Bau at 5pm.
Cafe Nagler may be hard to get tickets for as the Berliners love a home grown story. But it will be well worth it if you do. Film maker Mor Klapansky tries to discover the history of her family’s Cafe that was a hot spot in Berlin in the 1920’s. On discovering the truth she then has to work out how to gently explain her findings to her Grandmother who ran the cafe. Screening at martin Gropis Bau on Wed 17th at 10pm and Fri 19th at 2pm.
Seeing all that amazing food and hearing the stories will no doubt make you hungry and the very best food we can recommend to you is of course fine dining at our very own Le Faubourg Restaurant. Reservations can be made online.