New to DVD this week:

Michael Lei

World Premiere:
CPH:DOX 2019

Select Festivals:
Tribeca, Washington DC Environmental, Haifa, Napa Valley

A top European chef opens a fine-dining restaurant and cooking school in Bolivia.

Danish chef Claus Meyer, one of the leaders in New Nordic Cuisine and a co-founder of Noma, often recognized as the best restaurant in the world, opened Gustu in La Paz, in 2012, with the intention of making Bolivia the next hot spot for culinary travel. A foundational aspect of Gustu is a cooking school to create opportunities for local Bolivians to enter the industry. Filmmaker Michael Lei profiles two culinary students, Kenzo and Maria Claudia, as they learn their trade, confront the challenges of the high-pressure work, and try to forge a better future for themselves. While Meyer acknowledges and dismisses that his project might be dismissed as colonialist thinking, and that he himself might be positioned as a white savior, filmmaker Michael Lei’s unnecessary focus on the chef – and the risible decision to have Meyer’s own daughter interview him on camera – unfortunately lends the film a forced, promotional feel that ultimately undercuts whatever altruistic message it’s meant to impart.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Releases

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