TIFF, officially opens at Bloor Cinema this weekend.">

Movie Review: The Fruit Hunters


Published:

They are a group of enthusiasts; welcoming yet indulgent, wise yet odd, and they’re now at centre stage in a fascinating and juicy documentary: The Fruit Hunters. But these fruit lovers are not just hunters. They’re historians, detectives, connoisseurs and farmers — and, in one case, a notable celebrity. The doc, which had a sneak peek at this year’s TIFF, officially opens at Bloor Cinema this weekend.

Documentarian Yung Chang wonderfully unearths a “secret paradise beyond the grocery,” as he puts it, following these so-called fruit hunters around the world to uncover, educate and tantalize, blending the present day with the surprisingly influential history of fruit on society: wars were waged, and empires fell, all in the name of fruit.

Chang takes us on a lyrical and visual journey, with no shortage of fruit-porn (the film opens with Chang admitting a slight arousal when eating fruit) and some lighthearted detours, including what can only be described as a “fruit trip.” He takes us on some literal trips as well, including to the jungle of Borneo (where a fruit elder explains which fruit is lethal to humans, as well as the ones you can enjoy provided you don’t make fun of it) and even to the hills of Hollywood. There, we meet up with Bill Pullman, actor and fruit lover, who has his own exotic fruit farm. Pullman becomes one of the central figures of the film, and rightly so due to his warm screen presence and quick wit, as he meets with fellow fruit-passioneers in an attempt to form a Hollywood fruit collective.

At the heart of the film are two prevailing questions. The first involves how to solve an apparently looming banana crisis — a shortage in Latin America looks to have effects around the world. The second question, though never directly asked, is a simple one: why are so many of us settling for fruit from a grocery store? Ultimately, North Americans favour convenience over flavour, and that case is made subtly on several occasions. Chang doesn’t shove anything in your face — or mouth for that matter — but he paints a quirky and strangely captivating picture of a world beyond apples and oranges.

Then again, as the film points out in one of its escapades through the annals of history, John MacIntosh would have a lot to say about the meaning behind the apple.

The Fruit Hunters, Bloor Cinema, 506 Bloor St. W., 416-637-3123. Nov. 23-29

Director Yung Chang will be available for a Skype Q&A at the Nov. 24 screening

 

Edit Module

Join the conversation and have your say by commenting below. Our comment system uses a Facebook plugin. Please note that you'll have to turn off some ad-blockers in order to see the comments.

Edit Module

Follow us on Twitter @PostCity for more on what to eat, where to shop and what to do in Toronto.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

You may also like...

City investigates after developer clear-cuts grove of old trees on Bayview Avenue

City investigates after developer clear-cuts grove of old trees on Bayview Avenue

The clear-cutting of approximately 30 trees by a developer on a property at the corner of Bayview Ridge and Bayview Avenue in North York has devastated the local community. City of Toronto staff says the required permits were not issued and an investigation is currently underway.
Posted 15 hours ago
City Hacks: Four obscure stops to beat any long weekend traffic jam

City Hacks: Four obscure stops to beat any long weekend traffic jam

The August long weekend is the mother of all long weekends. It is the warmest. Cottage country is the busiest. And, as a result, Hwy. 400 is the nastiest. Here are five stops along the way worth a visit to check your sanity and have some fun.
Posted 16 hours ago
The skinny on Langhorne Slim’s ‘near perfect’ album

The skinny on Langhorne Slim’s ‘near perfect’ album

Nashville musician Langhorne Slim in town with the Lumineers tonight
Posted 2 days ago
New street art in Toronto honours the Great Lakes and reggae greats

New street art in Toronto honours the Great Lakes and reggae greats

Street art festival A Love Letter to the Great Lakes gathered 20 renowned artists to paint vast murals across some of Toronto’s best-loved neighbourhoods.
Posted 3 days ago
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleEdit Module