Magazine article Screen International

'Ants on A Shrimp': Berlin Review

Magazine article Screen International

'Ants on A Shrimp': Berlin Review

Article excerpt

Dir. Maurice Dekkers, Netherlands, 2015, 88 minutes

Ants on a shrimp is something that you eat, and it's just one of the oddities served when the super-restaurant NOMA moves from Copenhagen to Tokyo. This promotional culinary documentary tracks the bumpy relocation with star chef Rene Redzepi. Maurice Dekkers makes his feature debut on familiar territory for foodie audiences – a micro-managing cook setting up a huge challenge and struggling to meet it. This is the kind of mission that's launched a thousand Gordon Ramsay tantrums, although the anger decibel level never gets that high in Ants On A Shrimp.

Still, that food film marketplace is crowded, and Ants On A Shrimp, while in English, will have to fight in the US to seize exposure from Anthony Bourdain and the long loud parade of enterprising kitchen chroniclers. The doc may do better on television in Europe and Asia. Shelf-life for this food product is also a guess, since new faces and voices in the competitive culinary world are launching videos all the time. Dekkers's film follows a powerful brand, however. NOMA, established by Redzepi, was voted "World's Best Restaurant" in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014, no small distinction.

We never learn how much money the chef made there, or whether a fortune was earned for his investors. It is a business, after all. We join the drama when Redzepi has closed NOMA in Denmark, and made a deal to open in January 2015 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Tokyo for 5 weeks.

It's a tight deadline, which leads us into the team of NOMA, who drop everything to journey from Denmark to infuse a NOMA cuisine with Japanese characteristics. …

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