Meat+Poultry - June 2018 - 44
E N T E R TA I N M E N T
Syrian refugee Ahmed
works as a shawarma
chef in Za'atari Refugee
Camp in Jordan.
"We wanted to
never get to
- MATTHEW SALLEH
MEAT+ POULTRY | 06.18 | www.meatpoultry.com
IT'S A WRAP
After more than 200 days of traveling and
shooting, the two returned to Adelaide to edit
the film. For five months they went through
the footage and translations and pieced the
film together. Since they visited many nonEnglish speaking nations, most of the spoken
segments in the film include English subtitles.
"It was important that we accurately portrayed
the messages of everyone we interviewed
through the subtitles," Tucker says. "We found
representatives from each country in Adelaide,
so we invited them over to screen the movie
and check the translations."
The last step in the process was
incorporating a musical score. Christopher
Larkin, an Australian composer, wrote the
score for the documentary. Unlike some
film projects where the music is written and
recorded after the project is complete, Larkin
received clips of the footage while it was still
in the process of being shot and was able to
start composing during production.
Thanks to a little extra money left in the
production budget, Salleh and Tucker were
"boodog." After being gutted, the animal is
stuffed with hot rocks and then singed from the
outside with a blowtorch. The traditional way of
cooking the meat is one of which most people
visiting the country wouldn't normally get the
chance to witness, let alone taste. "We wanted
to feature foods and cultures that most people
would never get to experience," Salleh says.
During each stop, they would find a local
translator who helped connect them with
possible subjects for the film. After a day or two
of scouting and getting to know the subjects
they would begin days of filming. After each
round of filming they would sit down again with
the translator to translate the dialogue in each
film segment while the stories were fresh.
Sampling food and embracing the culture
was also an important part of the experience in
each country; luckily neither Salleh nor Tucker
were picky eaters and both were always willing
to sample the local cuisine.
"Everywhere we went we would spend
at least a day or more when we arrived
going around meeting people, sharing a beer,
enjoying some food, getting to know who we
were interviewing so by the time we were
rolling film everyone felt comfortable with
each other," Tucker says.
"We didn't want to interrupt the
environment with a large crew. We just had
a conversation with people - we kept it
comfortable and casual," Salleh says. "Working
as a crew of two allowed for very intimate and
personal access into people's lives."
The other countries visited and "barbecue"
foods featured were: khorovats in Armenia;
yakitori in Japan; shawarma in Syria/Jordan;
barbacoa in Mexico; hangi
in New Zealand;
lechon in the Philippines; shisanyama in South
Africa; asado in Uruguay, barbie in Australia
and barbecue in the US. Texas was the final
destination while shooting the film. "It was like
a homecoming since we shot our original short
film in Texas and came up with the idea for this
film while we were there," Salleh says.
While there were countless other countries
the two could have featured in the film, they
felt like they were able to give a global view of
a variety of cultures all experiencing one thing
in common - cooking over flames.
Salleh explains the feeling throughout the
movie in his director's statement: "In South
Africa, barbecue roasts over coals as people
in the townships and suburbs find new ways
to live together post-apartheid. Armenians
defiantly cling to their traditions and their
homeland, while exiled Syrians find new hope
through shawarma stalls in a border refugee
camp. In Australia, a rural town rejects modern
life, while in Tokyo yakitori chefs are inspired
by the pulse of the city. Despite strikingly
different landscapes and cultures, these
intimate portraits of everyday life reveal a bold
vision of humanity..."