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Lucien and Regina gather wild mushrooms in the woodlands of New Jersey and sell them to restaurants in New York. Their lifestyle is simple, their income unstable. Regina decides to take a full-time job cooking at a high-end restaurant to improve their financial security and to follow a more fulfilling personal career path. Feeling threatened, Lucien proposes that instead of selling out, they give up their apartment and drive to the more-profitable West Coast as full-time itinerant foragers. As individual desires take them down divergent paths over the course of a year, their marriage is put to a test. Written by
Interesting and honest portrait about what happens in restaurants behind the scenes. And very beautiful shots of mushrooms in the wild
I saw this film as part of the Rotterdam Film Festival 2012. It is an honest portrait of what happens in a restaurant behind the scenes: preparation, kitchen work, and last-but-not-least the outdoors logistics to obtain the proper ingredients. It is also against pompous menu's showing off expensive ingredients, for example demonstrated in the catering scene where the hostess merely wanted to impress her guests.
The story is slowly paced, mostly in line with the subject (one quote: "You cannot rush a mushroom hunt.") There were moments, however, that I felt the need to move on.
Our two main characters seem a nicely cooperating couple in the beginning, but their relationship deteriorates later on. Their separation is not out of malice. They simply grow apart when following different career paths.
The final Q&A emphasized that the story is not important in itself, just used as a vehicle for a logical development in time. We also learned that many shots of living mushrooms "in the wild" were collected before (you cannot wait that long with a film crew on your back).
All in all, a very interesting movie about things we don't see usually and conveniently take for granted. A "must see" recommendation for all those interested in this "back stage" part of what happens in restaurants.
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