Cooking up a better world

A 12-year-old’s Palestinian paternal grandparents call him “Ibrahim,” his Israeli maternal grandparents call him “Avraham,” his atheist parents call him Abe.  He’d like to be called “chef.”

Sensing his interest in cooking, Abe’s parents enroll him in an age-appropriate “cooking camp” for the summer. He immediately assesses this dorkfest as extremely lame, plays hooky and is taken under the very exacting wing of an innovative and adventurous Brazilian fusion chef (Seu Jorge – City of God). 

As his culinary creativity grows, he gets the idea of serving his constantly bickering family a Thanksgiving dinner made up of ethnic dishes he has created combining both sides of the Middle Eastern religious divide (and you thought your Thanksgiving was contentious!).

While this modest little film by young Brazilian director Fernando Grostein Andrade pretty much plays it safe when it could have packed a bigger political punch, it succeeds in no small part thanks to Noah Schnapp’s (Stranger Things) charming performance in the title role. 

One dinner, or one film, is not going to solve the world’s thorniest political problem, but it’s good to see someone chipping away at it in such a delicious manner. Made me smile. And hungry. (85 min)

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