Step Up to the Plate

STEP UP TO THE PLATE

Entre les Bras

“A rare window into the mysterious creative process of a chef, as well as the passing of culinary traditions across generations.” — Jeffrey T. Iverson, Time

Director: Paul Lacoste
Year: 2011
Country: France
Running time: 90 mins

Producers: Gaëlle Bayssière, Didier Creste
Photography: Yvan Quéhec, Romain Carcanade
Editor: Anthony Brinig
Music: Karol Beffa
In French with English subtitles
DigiBeta

With: Sébastien Bras, Michel Bras, Veronique Bras, Ginette Bras

Festivals: Berlin, San Francisco 2012

Born and raised in the Aubrac region of central southern France, chef Michel Bras started his career in the kitchen of his parents’ inn before taking over the business and winning his Michelin stars. Now he is preparing to hand over to his son, Sébastien, but showing little inclination to change the pattern of his days. Paul Lacoste’s documentary follows father and son and acquaints us with the extended family through this transitional year. We take in a good many kitchens, including that of Michel’s elderly parents, the root from which a great many exquisitely crafted dishes have grown. Lacoste, who first filmed Michel Bras a decade ago, can convey the utter concentration of food preparation carried out in silence, or pause, with his subjects, to take in the seasonal changes in the landscape that feeds the Aubrac kitchens. Wryly alert to the inherent questions of nurture versus nature, he measures the weight of tradition against the younger man’s drive to evolve. Comparisons with last year’s Jiro Dreams of Sushi are irresistible. — BG 

NZIFF STAFF PICK: Josh Thomas

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