Slow Food Story (2013)
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Contrary to what most of us know about the movement, it did not start as a response to the 1986 opening of a McDonalds fast food restaurant in Italy, but years earlier, as a political movement in Carlo's hometown of Bra, in northwestern Italy.
The Slow Food organization has grown so much it now hosts an annual food festival called Terra Madre in Torino where 10,000 "farmers from around the globe" come to compare foods and discuss the state of growing food in today's rapidly changing agro-climate. Slow Food's motto is: Good, clean, fair food for all! They have also built a new culinary institute, the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Bra.
This highly entertaining and educational documentary shows how one person's strong ideals can spawn an entire movement beneficial to mankind.
When the film finally started to show what the title suggested, there was not really a lot substance either. Instead of a really adequate examination on slow food, we get to see Carlo Petrini, the main force behind slow food, during a speech which really is more of a comedy show than a presentation. We also see him in meetings with Prince Charles and Mikhail Gorbachev, probably to show us what a significant personality he is. Later on, we find out how one of the founders had died and everything before was so uninteresting that I had no idea who this even was. The film goes on with Pedrini in an African village (cliché alert) and on campus. As a whole, it really felt more of a documentary on Pedrini's life than on the issue of slow food unfortunately, even if both is inevitably closely-connected of course.
Now, finally about the concept of slow food, it sure is an interesting one, but its chances were summarized pretty nicely during an interview by one of the protagonists: You can't win a revolution without politics. As long as the economy is down and fast food is cheap and makes your hunger go away quickly, people will always consume it in huge quantities. The only path to a healthier nutrition is a healthier purse. And just like people's awareness what they stuff into their mouths leaves a lot to be desired, so does this documentary. The only thing I really took from it, is that the "Internationale" is still such a nice tune after all these years.