Slow Food: "A gastronomic revolution”

 ROME--‘Slow Food Story’, a film by director Stefano Sardo previewed in Italy this week at the Cinema delle Quattro Fontane.  Telling the story of a cultural and gastronomical revolution, the film is a documentary charting the biography of the Slow Food movement’s founder Carlo Petrini as he sets out to fight against consumerist globalisation.

 The film, first broadcast at the last Berlin Film Festival and a product of Indigo and Tico Films, will be released in cinemas May 30.

 ‘You are what you eat”: these are the opening words of the film which follows the story of a group of provincial friends with passionate political views, a shared love for good food and wine, and the cultural adventures that arise as the result of their fun and ironic approach to life.  With its roots in the small Italian town of Bra, with just 27 thousand inhabitants, the Slow Food movement has since grown into an international organisation which today exists in over 150 countries.

 Petrini became politically active early on in his life, founding the ArciGola movement in 1986 in the wake of the Methanol scandal.  After years of commitment and dedication to local production he founded the Slow Food Movement with a group of restaurateurs in Paris, giving birth to a movement that today shows no signs of slowing down.  “The satisfaction that I have received in recent years”, Petrini explains, “is to see how young people are interpreting our initial philosophy to impact and improve their own lives: a return to farming, agriculture, food production; things that were unthinkable only ten years ago”.

 “I quickly realised that in order to tell the story of Slow Food I would have to tell the story of Petrini’s life” commented Sardo, the director.  “For him, there is no distinction between his private and public lives; Slow Food is his whole life”.

 Focusing on Petrini as his protagonist, Sardo collects the testimonies of his friends, relatives and colleagues to create a snapshot of the movement’s gastronomical and political journey.  He follows Petrini’s quest to promote good, clean and fair food production in the face of globalisation and the growing dominance of fast-food and mass production, all whilst maintaining gastronomic pleasure and environmental responsibility.

 A montage of these people’s first hand experiences shows how they are brought together through mutual passions and Petrini’s own ebullient charisma extends to his contemporaries in this light hearted yet informative documentary.