I’ve always had a very close relationship to food, and in my mind, it has everything to do with being Jewish. It is food that makes our culture and we eat it to celebrate all kinds of traditions.
Since I remember, visiting any member of my family or friends has always involved food, from helping my grandmother on Shabbat, to cooking some dessert at my place when someone invites me to dinner. Of course, it is a “Jewish must”. You must not arrive with empty hands.
Food and film are two of my biggest passions. Both involve telling stories and bringing people together in an environment of culture and diversity. And also, both can lead us to smart conversations about peace. That’s why Breaking Bread has become one of my favorite films of all time.
Breaking Bread directed by Beth Elise Hawk is a documentary that celebrates not only food, but also the importance of food as a tiny little step to get to peace. It is based on Anthony Bourdain’s quote: “Food may not be the answer for world peace but it’s a start”.
The film is not just about hummus. The idea of this film is to let us see between delicious food and amazing photography. It’s about how hummus is a dish that has NO BORDERS. It’s an appetizer that is eaten on both sides of the conflict in Israel and Palestine. At the center of the film is that when it comes to food, we can all forget about our differences.
Breaking bread also talks about the love that cooking involves and the importance of food in our relationships to each other. That certainly makes me think about how much I like to spend time in the kitchen and prepare delicious dishes for the people I love.
Sometimes I think I should have listen to the eight-year-old Fredel who wanted to be a chef. Not because I don’t like what I do, but I genuinely think that food is my love language, I haven’t found a more honest and beautiful way to show people that I love them as I do when I cook for them.
So, I think Breaking Bread makes us remember that food is love.
Love can lead us to find world peace.
Fredel Saed Raffoul is the current Director of the International Jewish Film Festival in Mexico. She studied audiovisual communications in the Universidad del Claustro de Sor Juana in Mexico City. In her free time she goes to the movies, to the theater, and prac...
Finding common ground
Do you think food can really unite people to the point of creating peace? Why? Why not?
For food doc buffs:
Is there a type of food (either unexplored or politically divisive) that you wish had more coverage in a documentary format?
For grown-ups and big kids:
Fredel expresses how she regrets not becoming a chef, as was her aspiration at age eight. If you could go back on time and listen to your eight-year-old self, what would be your profession today?
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