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Garlic Is As Good As Ten Mothers (1980)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 216 users  
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A documentary on the history of garlic. Blank interviews chefs, garlic lovers, and historians about the their love of the 'stinking rose.'

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Title: Garlic Is As Good As Ten Mothers (1980)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Antzonini Del Puerto ...
Flamenco Singer, Sausage Chef
Kathleen Bendel ...
Garlic Queen
...
Youth Saved from Dysentary
Mary T. Brown ...
Cook Who Uses Garlic Salt
Robert Charles ...
La Vielle Maison, Truckee, CA
Henry Chung ...
Hunan Restaurant, San Francisco
Rose 'Pistolias' Evangelisti ...
Cook, Garlic Lover
Val Filice ...
Garlic Grower, Squid Chef
George Flintroy ...
Flinty's Barbecue, Oakland
Lloyd John Harris ...
Publisher: _Garlic Times_
Michael Goodwin ...
Interviewer, Recordist, Writer, Garlic Peeler
Maura Hagerty ...
Irish Garlic Eater
Lawrence Hershman ...
Gardener, Marin County
...
Film Director: _Nosferatu_
Benni McCarthy ...
Author: _Living with the Flowers_
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Storyline

A documentary on the history of garlic. Blank interviews chefs, garlic lovers, and historians about the their love of the 'stinking rose.'

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Release Date:

October 1980 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

 
a nifty, amusing lot of Garlic fans and cooking and prep-work
1 January 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Les Blank has a rarity here that might have one of the best titles I've ever heard, or at least the most original. Garlic is as Good as Ten Mothers is a 50 minute excursion into the world of those who love, cherish, sing, cook, grow and pick and know a good deal about that most polarizing of seasonings and produce. As someone observes, making a dish that has a plentiful portion of garlic will bring out a reaction, and be it good or bad is what making something worthwhile is all about. In that sense garlic is its own cult, but one that already has a strong base of fans in Europe, slowly growing in America (this is 1980 of course, if these figures have changes in 28 years I can't say). What Les Blank gets on film is compelling and fun because he presents people who are passionate, and his camera probes in extreme, artistic close-ups into the preparations of unusual culinary feats, sometimes involving pigs and chickens, other times with dishes that look close to brains or vomit. Yum!

Like his Burden of Dreams, Blank has a knack at getting into the little things in a subject and making them paramount (where he found interesting insects and things in the making of Fitzcarraldo, here he has a fascinating at times with musical instruments that are played at garlic festivals). Granted, there is an occasional obnoxious voice-over which explains some of the history of garlic, including its origins and how widespread it is in America (2nd only to black pepper). But it's enlightening to see so much of this, like a cooking show that's given a slightly skewed perspective, loaded with folk songs dedicated to garlic, interviewees like Herzog himself, crumbs and specs and things that fall like they're meant as snowflakes through the compositions. It's oddball and and always loving, including a cool finishing touch of how garlic is farmed and packaged. If you love garlic, or just like some of Blank's films, it's worth checking out.


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