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letter of the director   

Food in Film Festival goes on.  The passion and the engagement of a group of cinéphiles for good cinema and the pleasures of the table keeps on joining and promoting a “double” festival, set in one of the most intriguing national panoramas, the Langa. Talking about taste through the vision: eating and drinking are primary needs of human beings, sources of pleasure, social relations, sharing, solidarity;  seeing and observing a powerful mean of communication and verification of reality. 

But cinema cannot lose sight of its purpose of being an inexhaustible container of acquaintance, movement of ideas and encounter. And Food in Film Festival cannot forget to be cinema, travelling through an articulate path to become food of health and culture. Moreover, they cannot shirk these current times, so controversial and restless in the existing resources’ solid use, resigned to a mediocre comparison about knowledge, invaded by television and media, in which cross-sectional memories vanish silently. 

Therefore, in this third edition we have decided to speak about hunger; about primary existential assets – such as water – violated and commercialized; about heresies (from the Greek αιρεσις, “choice”) as a necessity of new possibilities and social capabilities; about recoveries of hieratic resources - an adjective whose meaning we remind with difficulty, nevertheless perfectly adapted to the jobs’ contents – as the best part of things, like ancient wisdoms’ essence, rigour, substance without redundancy, that draws on the fundamental taste and, again, what sacred we have ab origine; about the stainless binomial eros - cibus - secular philosophies, languages of extraordinary excellence and expressive raw materials from the silver screen and life. 

In the beginning of the ‘800 nobody believed that it was possible to supply sufficient food to all the inhabitants of the world. Today, thanks to science and technology’s development, world-wide agriculture would be able to feed twelve billion people. The world-wide population amounts to six billions...  but every day 100.000 people die of hunger or because of diseases caused by malnutrition. Jean Ziegler, university professor of economy at the university of Geneva and the Sorbonne of Paris, chosen by the United Nations Commission for the Human Rights as a reporter of the committee for the right to food, presented a series of studies about the problem of the hunger in the developing countries. In his work L’empire de la honte [The Empire of  Shame] he writes:  "In northern Brazilian favelas, there are mothers who fill up a water pot at night, and then add some stones. They explain their children who cry because of hunger that dinner will be ready soon, hoping they will fall asleep in the meantime". Is there someone capable of measuring the same a mother, with a child she cannot sate, feels? Hunger becomes therefore an arm of mass destruction, used in order to crush and humiliate. 

The Worldwide Conference for the Human Rights held in Vienna in 1993 stated, among the others, "the right to have enough food that become true when every man, woman and child, can have an adequate nourishment or means to get it. It means food’s availability in amount and quality, in order to satisfy everybody’s dietetic need, according to everyone’s culture. This right has an indissoluble bond with the human being’s dignity”. In 1990 he had founded a special group in order to create a new international legislative standard capable of guaranteeing the right to food, immediately blocked by the major multinational enterprises. The choice of a sustainable development is not a maniac ecologists’ obsession, but a practicable way to get out of the morass we’re sinking in. Economy is the only way to solve hunger when it is create by the economy itself. Economy - environment - culture.

Paraphrasing Federico Garcia Lorca in his Speech about the theatre, we can feel cinema like one of the most effective cultural modern means of understanding, a free tribune from which people can denounce and explain...  Careful and well oriented, it can change people’s sensibility; on the contrary, it can benumb and coarsen an entire nation, if it doesn’t know how to depict social restlessness, pulsations of history, the drama of its people. 

How can a film – and food- festival take part on this? Showing all this, and - specific peculiarity of this area and event - without haste, without forcing itself to a kermes or to anachronistic society rituals. Having the time to drink, to meet and to listen to each other. Creating places, hypothesis, situations, dreams in which tasting and watching can become cues and little hems of one constant stubborn net of  human solidarity of life and customs. Because food belongs to everybody, it is an inalienable right of survival and conscience. Without the fast necessity to forget, contributing to an avant-guarde of aware humanity.

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FOOD IN FILM FESTIVAL
FESTIVAL INTERNAZIONALE DELLE LANGHE
Palazzo Comunale, Via della Chiesa 1 - 12065 Monforte D’Alba (CN)
Tel +39 0173 78137 , Fax +39 0173 78137
 info@foodinfilmfestival.it

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