There’s still one day left to experience the in-person Tokyo International Film Festival, but for Cinetalk this is where we say farewell. This year included a wide range of topics and styles. Before concluding our coverage, it would be unfair to not mention one last film, even if it has already finished its run. Abe (directed by Fernando Grostein Andrade) is a fairly light and spirited movie for the whole family.
Some kids like cars, celebrities, selfies. Abe like FOOD. Even more than eating it, Abe likes to make it. As he doesn’t have many offline friends, he posts pictures of his latest cooking adventures for his online “friends”, which to be honest, seem more like frenemies. It’s no wonder Abe prefers cooking to friendships.
Otherwise, Abe is more or less a normal 12-year old. And oh. He comes from a very complicated cultural background. The union of his Orthodox Jewish Mom and Muslim Palestinian Dad was never fully accepted by Abe’s grandparents. Alas, as a kid, you can’t choose your family. Perhaps he can bring them together by creating the perfect fusion dinner? Fusion is about harmony, and finding things that match and complete each other. But things don’t go as Abe would have hoped.
While paternal and maternal grandparents bicker over dinner rituals and food preparation, Abe tries to lose himself in the streets of New York. Yes, a 12-year old wanders the city streets after dark without his parents’ knowledge. Such is often the sad truth in many modern families. Petty, selfish adults push a pre-teen to run away into the Brooklyn twilight. Unbeknownst to Abe, the adults pull together as a worried search party.
The sometimes warm and sometimes unnerving family ties hold the film together. And food porn. Stay tuned for the “dessert”: the end credits. These feature miniature figurines frolicking in food ingredients. Cute!