Cooking History (image 1)

An army marches on its belly. From the Wehrmacht's bakers to Marshall Tito's personal chef, this innovative, ironic work records the details of military cuisine.

Screened as part of NZIFF 2010

Cooking History 2009

Ako sa varia dejiny

Directed by Peter Kerekes

Irreverent and wry, this engrossing documentary hybrid observes 20th-century European upheaval from the field kitchen, casting startling new culinary perspectives on warfare. “Fascinating.” — Variety

Austria / Czech Republic / Slovakia In Czech, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Russian and Serbian with English subtitles
88 minutes

Director

Producers

Ralph Wieser
,
Georg Misch
,
Peter Kerekes
,
Pavel Strnad

Photography

Martin Kolár

Editor

Marek Šulík

Music

Marek Piaèek

With

Vassily Nikolaevich Logunov
,
Franz Wienhart
,
Klavdia Matveevna Lobanova
,
Heinz Rudinger
,
Liepke Distel
,
Békés Mihály
,
Jacques Besson
,
René Bianchi
,
Ljudmila Vladimirovna Korneva
,
Mladen Vlachyòa
,
Branka Mudreniæ
,
Ankica Pavloviæ
,
Branko Trboviè
,
Peter Silbernagel

Festivals

Karlovy Vary, Vancouver 2009

Elsewhere

Irreverent and wry, this engrossing documentary hybrid observes 20th-century European history from the field kitchen, casting startling new culinary perspectives on warfare. Articulate witnesses recall their experiences and share secret homeland recipes that boost troops morale and kept minds focused in European conflicts, ranging from World War Two to the 1956 Hungarian uprising, the Franco-Algerian war to the dissolution of Yugoslavia and the subsequent Balkan cataclysm. Major victories can’t be achieved on empty stomachs. The nationalistic bent of menus at official dinners may tell more truth than treaties. In front of the ruins of Marshall Tito’s official residence, the leader’s personal chef sifts through the journal he kept of every meal he ever served the revered man – after duly testing it for poison. These ‘cooking show’ monologues are elaborately staged in sites related to theatres of war throughout Europe. Their theatrical nature creates ironic counterpoints that only reinforce the film’s powerful message. — SR
(Contains animal slaughter.)

“The filmmakers capture the mordant humour and natural storytelling abilities of the subjects pitch perfectly.” — Brannavan Gnanalingam, The Lumiere Reader