Trailer: ‘Breaking Bread’ Reminds That Food Pretty Much Conquers All

If there is one important thing (amongst the 15,000 other important things) that Anthony Bourdain taught us, it’s that food just has a way of overcoming cultural, racial and ideological differences in a way that simply nothing else can. After all, how much can you hate someone if you’re sitting down and breaking bread with them?

Speaking of Breaking Bread, that’s also the title of, yes, a quite ideological new documentary film about the ability of food to transcend all that awful human pettiness. The action focuses around the A-Sham Festival, an annual Arabic food event in Haifa, Israel founded by microbiologist Dr. Nof Atamna-Ismaeel, who just happened to be the first Israeli-Arab to win Israel’s MasterChef – an event which certainly carried with it a great symbolic significance. The first trailer shows riveting snippets of interviews with several participating chefs, happily cooperating despite their ethnic disparities, and stating their “manifestos” via an unapologetic bluntness.

“I don’t give a **** that he’s an Arab,” insists one impressively bearded character,” like he doesn’t give a **** that I’m a Jew. The only thing we’re going to give a **** about is making art.”

But it’s not really quite as simple as that, of course, as another puts it: “As someone born as a Palestinian and lives here as an Israeli, this stuff makes you confused. Who you are…who you want to be.”

The trailer eventually takes something of a political turn, philosophizing on how most people in Israel just want to live together, while the 10% constantly agitate for division and misunderstanding. Yet Atamna-Ismaeel reminds that for the duration of the festival, it is really all about the food: “I don’t believe there is any room for politics in the kitchen,” she says.

Stunning images of rapturously prepared food pretty much sell it, even if one doesn’t wish to get absorbed in the deeper message. Either way, for the two-minutes-and-thirty nine seconds length of the trailer, you almost have more hope for peace in the Middle East than you do for America.

Breaking Bread opens February 4 in New York (Quad Cinema and JCC Manhattan) and Los Angeles (Landmark Nuart), followed by a national expansion.

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