A Culinary Journey Through Taiwan.
Germany/Taiwan 2012, 83 min, color, HDCAM. A Co-production of Hyena Films with PTS, Taiwan. Supported by FFHSH GmbH.
Press kit: The Raw And The Cooked (PDF, 0,5 MB)
THE RAW AND THE COOKED is a documentary exploration of Taiwan’s rich culinary traditions and their relationship to the island’s unique culture. Taiwan has one of the best and most diverse cuisines in Asia, as food is the foremost passion of its 23 million inhabitants. Taiwan is also a densely populated island. Urbanisation is proceeding while agriculture is in decline. But, there is a growing movement for environmental protection. In our tour around the island’s coastal regions we seek out people who are making a difference with innovative projects to create a sustainable food system.
Raymond Wu // Joy Hui-yi Hu // Huan-ru Ke // Robin Winkler // Han-sheng Pan // Fu-yu Wang Ladibisse // Sumi // Pannai // Nabu // Heng-hong Liu and many others.
Writer, director, producer: Monika Treut // Director of Photography: Bernd Meiners // Sound: Chia-hao Yang // Editor: Margot Neubert-Maric // Translator on set: Wuan-ling Guo // PA: I-wen Tang // Production Manager: Madeleine Dewald // Music: Ramon Kramer, Michael Dommes // Cello: Pirkko Langer // Translations: // Chinese/German: Martina Hasse // German/English: Colin Richardson // Titel Design, Animation: Dock 43 // Sound Mixer: Roland Musolff // Color Matching: Matthias, Behrens, waveline // PR: Doris Bandhold Filmpromotion // Commissioning editor for PTS, Taiwan: Jessie Y.W. Shih. Special thanks to Isabella Heereman
Worldpremiere: Berlin IFF // Culinary Cinema // February 12, 2012
Vancouver // Vienna // Dubrovnik // Cambridge // Santa Rosa // Hawaii // Hong Kong // Vermont // San Diego // Trento
If one were to use the term “food spa,” as opposed to the obscene-sounding “food porn,” it would apply to “The Raw and the Cooked,” a holistic-minded documentary that touts nutrition as much as taste. German helmer Monika Treut, who has shot two docus and one fiction feature in Taiwan, shows an affinity for the island’s cultural diversity, which she represents through a cornucopia of regional cuisines and their religious, indigenous, ethnic Chinese and emerging ecological influences. Compact, slick production makes a scrumptious package for tube consumption and festival sidebars.
Treut (…) refrains from forcing any connections with these subjects and avoids a dry, ethnographic approach. Quite simply, the food speaks for itself. Even when purveying and celebrating burgeoning enterprises and ecological produce initiatives, Treut finds room for droll humor, as when a straight-faced organic vegetable grower rattles off the vintage years of his barrels of fermenting human excrement, as if walking someone through his wine cellar.
Final bash is set at Jindou restaurant in Puli, where fusion chef Liu Heng-hong presents spectacular edible objects such as roses, paper, bitter gourds, water bamboo and ailanthus prickly ash, wrapping up the trim 83-minute pic and leaving auds hungry for more.
Brightly textured HD lensing by Bernd Meiners captures picturesque natural scenery along the way, while location sound deliberately picks up cacophonous background noise that lends a strong sense of place. Spontaneous chanting and concert perfs by aboriginals, as well as ancient Hakka tunes, blend seamlessly with a contempo cello score by German composers Michael Dommes and Ramon Kramer.
Maggie Lee, VARIETY
A must-see for foodies and travel enthusiasts, this documentary explores Taiwan’s rich and diverse culinary heritage. From the popular restaurants and night markets of Taipei to the farms and farm-to-table movement in the agricultural center of Puli, filmmaker Monika Treut not only examines various delectable Taiwanese dishes, but also delves into the sources of their important ingredients. Through this exploration, the film reveals the alarming negative effects of rapid urbanization in densely populated Taiwan, as well as a growing movement for environmental protection of Taiwan’s beautiful rural countryside. THE RAW AND THE COOKED introduces viewers to Taiwan’s diverse culture through the special dishes, cooking techniques and styles (including the preparation of a bouillabaisse from inside a tree trunk), and, in some cases, even music of acclaimed restaurants, ecological groups, indigenous Taiwanese groups, a Buddhist monastery, and the Hakka Chinese community (Taiwan’s largest ethnic minority community). Be prepared to leave hungry for more.
Hawaii International Filmfestival, Jennifer Waihee-Polk