Feature documentary directed by Peter Svatek
Starring: Massimo Bottura, Stefi and Marco, Fatou, Fawaz, Giorgio
Massimo Bottura is one of the top chefs in the world and a man with a social conscience. At Milan’s Expo ’15, he decided to do something positive about food waste and homelessness. The master chef, whose renowned Osteria Francescana is consistently in the top five list of best restaurants in the world persuaded local authorities in Milan to fund his “Food for Soul” project. With the help of local artisans, chefs, the local church and other social activists, he created Refettorio Ambrosiano, a beautiful soup kitchen, which fed new immigrants, former drug addicts, political refugees, homeless and physically and social disabled people.
Peter Svatek, a Montreal-based filmmaker heard of the project and with the help of the National Film Board of Canada and a Quebec production company, made a lovely doc about Massimo’s project. Theatre of Life is filled with Bottura’s wisdom and enthusiasm but Svatek is careful to also capture some of the colourful denizens of the Refettorio: the former drug addict and fascinating figure, Giorgio; refugees Christiana (Nigeria) and Fatou (Senegal); Jordanian-Italian Fawaz; and the feisty couple Stefi and Marco.
Theatre of Life is a film with charm, passion, great food and a social conscience. Best of all, it’s real: Massimo and his Refettorio movement worked its wonders in Brazil during the Olympics and will soon be spreading to other cities. This is a film that is worth seeing about a movement worth supporting.
Written by Marc Glassman
Adjunct Professor, Ryerson University
Director, Pages UnBound: the festival and series
Editor, POV Magazine
Editor, Montage Magazine
Film Critic, The New Classical FM
Film programmer, Planet in Focus
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