There’s More Than Mushrooms “Up on the Mountain,” A Documentary Review

mountaiunPlaying at Devour! Food Film Festival on Oct 29, 11:00am

Al Whittle Theatre
450 Main St, Wolfville, NS

Olivier Matthon‘s fly on the wall approach to looking at the problems “commercial” mushroom pickers have in Up on the Mountain is very eye-opening. While we as consumers love chanterelles, morels and lion’s mane, we don’t know the story behind how it got to the dinner table, be it in a restaurant or home-made. 

In British Columbia, those mycelium grown in farms most likely follow strict guidelines in terms of when they’re food ready. But to get them from the lands, the Crown posted guidelines for those wanting to pick and sell. But to be a watchdog is impossible; I suspect the issues are the same as it is Stateside. That is, there’s not enough staff in the Forestry department to go around. With this documentary, we follow in the footsteps of three groups who travel on the “mushroom circuit,” and have to fend for themselves against other poachers and local enforcement.

In the official synopsis, “[They travel embark on] a year-round migration that can take them anywhere from Alaska to California, Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming—to harvest wild mushrooms from public forests.

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Blind Ambition, South Africa and Wine-Tasting, A Formula for How to Succeed

blind ambit

Robert Coe and Warwick Ross have developed a documentary that not only looks at the situation faced by many in South Africa concerning black immigration to other nations within this continent, but also shows “Blind Ambition” should set no one back.

Here, it’s about whether four Zimbabwean immigrants can succeed as business people in a very demanding restaurant industry. Here, the focus is on wine. And what Joseph, Tinashe, Pardon, and Marlvin have to learn is if they got the right stuff. They want to enter the 2017 World Blind Wine Tasting Championship and because of the economic situation, they had huge obstacles to face if they were to fly to Burgundy, France, where it was being hosted.

This film focuses on four individuals wanting a better prospect for not only themselves, but the family they’re taking along. What they left behind is important, and the examination is more than dutiful to let us understand what goes on a world away. Back home in Zimbabwe was civil unrest, and unless we understand this social-policital background tableau, what viewers won’t learn aren’t as relatable.

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Why Breaking Bread Matters and Where to Find this Documentary

Breaking Bread (2022) | Fandango Breaking Bread goes beyond simply showing how this food product can be delicately designed. There’s many ways to make it, bake it and serve it. What’s presented is more than an attack on the taste buds. To know what it represents to bring peace along the Gaza Strip is at the core of this work by filmmaker Beth Elise HawkHer film is excellent at highlighting how this part of the world operates because it shows not everyone is an extremist. They’re just business and everyday people too.

This work carefully looks at the life and times of many restaurateurs of different local nationalities and cuisine. In terms of how many operations were profiled, I lost track after counting at least twelve. 

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Come Back Anytime… for Ramen

Come Back Anytime (2021) - IMDb

To find local showings, please visit the official website.

Next screening:
Doc NYC Nov 12th, 2021

Masamoto Ueda is a ramen master in the documentary Come Back Anytime, and this title is perfect to reflect his attitude and love for his regular customer base. He’s the owner/operator of Bizentei, a shop located roughly between Shinjuku, Bunkyo and Chiyoda City (municipalities of Tokyo). It’s not too far off the beaten path, and he gets his regular customers and the occasional newcomer.

Ueda became a legend in the forty years since he’s been in business, and when he’s not tending to the shop, he’s gardening. Everything he offers in the diner is handpicked by him. From pears to bamboo shoots, he’s very particular. And this documentary is an excellent profile. It doesn’t reveal his cooking secrets, but instead shows just how loved he is by the local neighbourhood community. We get to see what he does in his spare time, and this look only rounds out who he is. He’s sometimes a grand father too.

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Chiliheads to make an Impact at Devour!

Download Chiliheads, fous de piments forts (2021) YTS Movie & Chiliheads,  fous de piments forts (2021) YIFY IN HD ON , (2021-03-15 , )Location: Al Whittle Theatre, Wolfville, NS and Online
Date: Oct 21, 2021
Time: 5:30 pm – 6:50 pm

Price: $15 – Buy Now

Chiliheads is a fascinating look at the love for the hot pepper. Julien Fréchette created a very insightful documentary that features people from different walks of life who are obsessed with this fruit. From its roots of being a very regional plant to its pollination around the world (mostly because of trading from the Portuguese traders), it’s growing everywhere. Each variant has its own flavour profile and heat level. A lot of information is densely packed in this 73 min work, and it’s certainly worth watching again just to learn about why it’s become part of certain cultures’ cuisine.

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What to See and Devour! The Food Film Fest 2021

Anyone able to make it to the Wolfville, Nova Scotia will be in for a treat at Devour! The Food Film Fest this year. Not only is there a noticable expanded Indigenous cuisine focus this year, but also, I truly wish I could be there in person. The Street Food Rally is always the highlight! It’s $5 per plate, and has a lot of tasty dishes from around the world, namely Mexico, Finland, Canada, and the United States.

The delights offered has me ready to hop a plane with no regard to making my comic book convention budget disappear. That’s because there’s a lot of game meats being offered that I’ve always wanted to taste. Plus, there’s something to the Autumn season which really makes me want to bulk up so I can hibernate later. But I digress. The following plates are from the official website:

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