Himself He Cooks

Valérie Berteau and Philippe Witjes
2011 | 65 mins | India, Belgium

Tons of colorful fruits and rice, giant cooking-pots, anonymous volunteers moving in unison to feed the visitors: we observe a langar, the Sikh tradition of a common canteen where all are served for free regardless of their background. Set in the Golden Temple of Amritsar, a prominent place of Sikh worship, this beautiful, wordless film captures the spontaneous choreography of hundreds of people preparing tens of thousands of meals a day to reveal the unique face of this sacred place. Himself He Cooks is at once a striking visual essay, offering insights into the meaning of charity and philanthropy, and a profound meditation on food as the nexus of culture, nature, and human necessity.


Co-presented by Asia Society and Flanders House

This film will be followed by a reception and dance party in the Cullman Hall of the Universe with DJ Rekha. Admission is free with a 2012 Mead ticket stub.

Whose Story Is It?

"The film is the story of a kitchen, the story of thousands of people working and sharing together. It is the story of people far away but it could be ours. Could it be? Somehow, this film and, I believe, documentaries, question that: How could other people's behaviors and traditions influence our ways of life? How do we learn from others?"

-Valérie Berteau | Director, Himself He Cooks