The month of May has seen various Chinese websites flooded with netizensâ€™ discussions about a documentary called A Bite of China, filmed by Chinaâ€™s state media CCTV. Profuse praise and unexpected subsequent enthusiasm for food has won the documentary a national fame. Itâ€™s unusual that a country never short of delicious cuisines would be driven into such â€˜feverishnessâ€™. However, with a closer look at the documentary, we may find that this â€˜unusualnessâ€™ is also mixed with another flavor of â€˜usualnessâ€™.
Instead of selecting food form those five-star and fancy restaurants, A Bite of China starts from the lives of ordinary people and introduces the food from a series of warm and touching stories, which, in the eyes of many, are imbued with humanity. It shows the sweat and tears of farm laborers as much as the variety of food on the table. People are tasting the culture and life much more than the food itself. This is the â€˜usualnessâ€™ behind the film. Every successful film has something which touches its viewers.
Of course, the documentary would not be such a hot topic without the attractive high-definition images of food. One viewer said â€˜I almost want to lick the screen!â€™ Chinese cuisine is famous for its variety and unique way of cooking, but this is not what the documentary would like to stress. The documentary sees no distinction among different schools of cuisine, but the different lives behind all kinds of ordinary food. Shortly after the film was put on show, there were light complaints among fans of famous schools of Chinese cuisine, because the documentary spends only limited time in presenting their schools. But these complaints soon died down. The reason is simple: the documentary knows too well what needs to be shown.
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