Just watched a documentary Called; “Soul Of A Banquet” with Cecilia Chiang and Alice Waters

soulOfAbanquetA documentary that basically tried to celebrate the life’s efforts, and challenges, of an amazingly courageous Chinese restauranteur, and defector of Communist China. It was just awkward for me and even a little sad to watch. You got the sense that a couple of powerful foodies decided; “Hey the world needs to know about this before we lose her and her knowledge to time”, and then went about in attempting to canonize her in a documentary.
It was palpable that the filming of this matriarch of Chinese cuisine didn’t herself, appear to be in the flow of it. There was one part where Alice Water’s puts another portion of food on Mrs. Chiang’s plate earlier in the films informal dining scene, to which She’s say’s, “I have plenty already.
I wanted it to be so much more.
I wanted to see and hear more about Cecilias past in the states and maybe some interview with her daughter extolling moms culinary vision of classic Chinese food, past and present, but no. It just felt akin to me like, if I was to wheel out my grandfather to tell of his amazing story with his triumphs and challenges, trying to edify him for all the world to appreciate him like I do, and all the while during the course of making the film he would correct and talk over the praises of him, which in the end no matter the amount of editing would still make the documentary still feel awkward to watch. In the end I still give kudos for even attempting any kind of Visual presentation of a persons life.


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