In her documentary, Breaking Bread, (showing at the Albany Twin Theater through Tuesday, February 22), director Beth Elise Hawk tells the story of the A-Sham Festival, a three-day annual food celebration in Haifa, Israel.
Hawk set out to show how food can build bridges between communities and remind the people of the region that they share a common history reflected in their cuisines. A-Sham (which refers to the geographic region in the Middle East historically known as the Levant), brings together dozens of chefs and restaurants offering a great variety of foods from Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Turkey, and other neighboring areas. The event showcases traditional and lesser-known recipes for holidays, special events, births, deaths, and weddings. The city of Haifa is as intriguing as the rapturous array of dishes on display.
“Food may not be the answer to world peace,” a quote from Anthony Bourdain reads at the opening of the film, “but it’s a start.”
Hungry for the food?
The only thing that might make this film better would be the actual tastes! If you’re in Albany, all you have to do is head up Solano Avenue for Zaytoon Mediterranean’s deeply flavorful kebabs and rich hummus, or Jerusalem Organic Kitchen’s delicious schwarma and falafel.