Chef Antonio’s Recipe for Revolution

February 28, 2022

Australian, Documentary, Review, Theatrical, This Week Leave a Comment

... merges serious issues ... with an underlying positivity using quirky, animated exposition, that further expresses the incredible duality and resilience of these people’s lives in an engaging way.
chef

Chef Antonio’s Recipe for Revolution

Joshua Cassidy
Year: 2021
Rating: E
Director: Trevor Graham
Cast:

Antonio de Benedetto, Mirko Piras, Jessica Berta

Distributor: Antidote
Released: From March 5, 2022
Running Time: 98 minutes
Worth: $15.00

FilmInk rates movies out of $20 — the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

… merges serious issues … with an underlying positivity using quirky, animated exposition, that further expresses the incredible duality and resilience of these people’s lives in an engaging way.

Australian filmmaker Trevor Graham has made a career of having a particular eye for the diamond in the rough (Make Hummus Not War was an insight in the conflicting and intriguing heritage of hummus), and that is no different with his latest documentary.

Chef Antonio de Benedetto’s hotel-restaurant ‘Albergo Etico’ is staffed with young people living with down syndrome. The working environment is unconventional at first glance, however, Graham’s candid style of filmmaking presents a grounded portrayal of the workers, while rejecting the exploitive nature that frequents people with intellectual disabilities doing everyday things.

If there is any sensationalism, it is in Chef Antonio himself. His flamboyant theatricality is as strong as his desire to share knowledge with the team. However, it is his audacity to strive towards his dream of revolutionizing the intellectual disability sector with his Italian cuisine that truly captures his staff. Particularly, kitchen hand and self-appointed team leader, Mirko Piras’ dreams of following in the way of Antonio in hope to provide for his future family.

Graham’s documentary style is comparable to that of a lyre bird who takes in his surrounding environment and releases it back out in a way that is unique to himself, and the environment of Albergo Etico. The pacing of the editing, and the musical score embodies the fast-paced hustle of an Italian working kitchen, as well as the passion, frustration and heartbreak involved in running a successful restaurant.

The film merges serious issues like Mirko’s hospitalization with an underlying positivity using quirky, animated exposition, that further expresses the incredible duality and resilience of these people’s lives in an engaging way.

Chef Antonio’s Recipe for Revolution challenges the audience to view people living with down syndrome in a light of normalcy, and more specifically as individuals with ambition and the capacity to work hard towards their goals.

Australian screenings: antidotefilms.com.au/chef-antonios-recipes-for-revolution

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