Culinary Cinema

The documentary Botany of Desire, adapted from the bestseller of the same name by Michael Pollan (Food, Inc.), will be screened this evening in the international Berlinale film festival to mark Slow Food’s 20th anniversary, which was on December 10, 2009.

The film takes the viewer on an eye-opening exploration of our relationship with the plant world. Botany of Desire shows that we humans are intricately woven into the web of nature rather than standing outside it, by linking our fundamental desires for sweetness, beauty, intoxication and control with four common species that gratify them – the apple, the tulip, marijuana, and the potato.

“In The Food For Love” is the motto of the Berlinale’s Culinary Cinema program this year, being held this week from February 14 to 19. Eleven films revolving around the relationship between food and love, nature, and the environment will be presented in the movie theatre at the Martin-Gropius-Bau.

Social and ecological themes will take centre stage at late night screening all week. In Chris Smith’s Collapse, former CIA agent Michael Ruppert sarcastically develops visions of a world without crude oil; BANANAS! gives viewers insight into the scrupleless production of this tropical fruit by a large US company; Manthan (The Churning) was financed by 500,000 Indian dairy farmers to tell the story of the formation of a milk producers’ cooperative; and Hannes Jaenicke will present his documentary Im Einsatz für Haie (Wildlife Underground: Sharks) and discuss preserving biodiversity with the audience.

The festival is also taking steps to improve the environmental performance of the event itself this year, doing away with print versions of press releases, media kits, and brochures. “We decided to do away with the press mailboxes because they’re outdated and waste a lot of paper. Every day it seemed like paper the equivalent of 5 hectares of Brazilian rain forest was being distributed and most of it just thrown away. It just wasn’t right,” said Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick. In addition, lighting systems have been changed to use more energy efficient lights and hydrogen-powered cars are been used.

For more information:


Botany of Desire

Berlinale goes Green

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