Gerald Wright's Movie Coverage
HOW TO COOK YOUR LIFE
Directed & Written by: Doris Dorrie
Running time: 93 minutes
Release date: November 16, 2007 (NY)
Format: OV Material - HDCAM, HDV
Distributor: Roadside Attractions
MPAA Rating: PG-13
The cooking Zen priest, chef and cookbook writer Edward Brown demonstrates that eating is more than just the intake of food. Cooking is a festival of senses, and an act of love and generosity. His cooking classes are held at the Buddhist center, Scheibbs in Austria and two California Buddhist centers, the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center and the Zen Center in San Francisco, where he teaches people of all ages.
His recipes are simple but rich in taste and aroma. The camera is like a participant of the cooking courses. The lectures of Edward Brown are based on the ancient tradition of Zen master Dogen, the founder of the Soto Zen School, where Brown studied and received his priesthood.
Practical and entertaining Edward Brown knows how to translate those philosophical thoughts into today's zeitgeist. He raises the questions of "what is the meaning of cooking and eating for the community and the individual? Is cooking a political act? How does cooking reflect our attitude toward life and the world?
Edward Brown is a happy priest, but not a saint. To him, the world can be found in foods. The film examines fast food restaurants, organic farmers, starving homeless people and a woman who only eats what others discard. The filmmaker Doris Dorrie explores the facts that 80% of all Americans don't eat at home and do not cook. If you don't know how to cook and you are poor, you have to live on cheap and bad food. No time for cooking and eating together is a loss of community and culture. To learn how to cook means to experience and preserve the riches of one's culture and traditions.
This is a very enlightening film with a great jazz soundtrack. I found this to be a delicious documentary with a dash of comedy.
FILM RATING (A)