Let's Eat

On screen: black forest gâteau and mayonnaise

The UK International Jewish Film Festival opens next week and, as you’d expect from a selection of Jewish films, a certain amount of on-screen eating goes on. Here are my three picks for foodie filmgoers.


Bittersweet love story, The Cakemaker, is set amidst the delicious cakes and cookies of German patisserie chef Thomas (Tim Halkhof). Married Israeli businessman, Oren (Roy Allen) visits the Berlin café where Thomas works, orders a black forest gâteau and falls in love with cake and baker.

They start an affair, but Oren is killed in an accident in his native Jerusalem and grieving Thomas heads to Israel where he finds work in the kosher cafe owned by Oren’s widow, Anat (Sarah Adler). Very moving.

Israeli romantic comedy, And Then She Arrived focuses on the love life of 30-year old football-crazy, lawyer, Dan Freilich. 

There is a clear contrast between the bland chicken soup served by his meddling mother, to the delicious spicy, snacks made by the mother of Kurdish waitress, Meirav, whom he is defending in court. It’s a perfect example of the Sephardi/Askhenazi divide. Will fiery Meirav and her colourful cuisine steal Dan’s heart from more glamorous fiancee, Tamar — taking relationship advice from Dan’s mother?

Monsieur Mayonnaise covers far more than the French egg and oil based condiment. Phillipe Mora narrates a history of his ancestors’ experiences with the Nazis. Father, Georges Mora (nicknamed Monsieur Mayonnaise) worked with the French Resistance, smuggling Jewish children into Switzerland. His ingenious trick was to hide documents, wrapped in wax paper and liberally smothered in mayonnaise between two pieces of bread. Knowing how much the Nazis hated to dirty their immaculate gloves, he and his fellow fighters gambled on them being too squeamish to dismantle the snacks. A poignant documentary.

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