Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Frankly, Mr. Shankly

If you are reading this and have already been to this blog I think it is safe to say that you already believe food is far more than simply sustenance.  You likely see food as a form of art, or a wonderful hobby.  Perhaps food is something that brings you joy.  If you have been one of my readers you know I see food as something that creates community and intimacy.  Undoubtedly you know people for whom food is simply food, not to be imbued with all sorts of social or emotional powers.  Well, be sure to share with them a movie I recently watched.

May I Be Frank is another in a long line of movies that explore our modern, affluent lifestyles and the damage we are doing to ourselves.  May I Be Frank is different in that it looks at how fast a healthy, cleansing diet can affect both our health and our emotional state.  Frank Ferrante is a middle-aged guy with a colorful past of drug use, womanizing and a total lack of self-respect.  He wanders into Cafe Gratitude in Berkeley, California and is confronted with their question of the day.  What do you want more than anything else in your life?  Frank wants to fall in love one more time but knows that’s impossible until he loves himself.  His server is intrigued and together with a couple other employees set out to whip Frank into shape – emotional and physical.  What follows is Frank’s experience with wheatgrass, colonics, and self-affirmations.  Frank is a charming guy, impossible not to like.  He is brutally honest about what he is experiencing even while struggling to be honest with the pain in his life.  However, in just a few weeks he loses weight, cleans up his body and begins to wrestle with his demons.  As I watched I was completely convinced that his new, cleaner diet was the key ingredient leading him to reflect and search for healing. 
This is not an easy film to watch, yet it is completely engaging.  It will force you to think about your own life – nutritionally and emotionally.  But hang on to the end – all the way through the credits – and you will discover such hope.  I loved the intimate feel of the movie.  In a time where documentaries often get such acclaim and even audience, this is one that feels like a film festival.  That small, unknown, intimate film that lacks the star-power or marketing experts to make it the next Bowling for Columbine or An Inconvenient Truth, it is the sort that you will watch, feel good about, and want to share with others. 
     
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