Film Review: Make Hummus Not War (2012)

make hummus not war

Could hummus be the catalyst for peace in the Middle East? Trevor Graham seeks to explore this notion, leaving no chickpea unturned. A self-proclaimed ‘hummus tragic’, Graham is a fanatic for all things Middle Eastern. Obsessed with the dish so common in homes worldwide, he sets out to discover its origins but finds himself drawn into the middle of a much bigger issue, the Arab/Israeli conflict.

You might not know it, but hummus is one of the oldest known prepared foods in human history, with several national identities claiming it as their own. Make Hummus Not War is essentially a film about the history of conflict in the Middle East, however Graham provides a fresh and fun perspective by focusing on the delicious food that we all know so well.

There is intense rivalry between the competing hummus groups, each giving convincing arguments as to why the delicious food is their own and no one else’s. We get to see a vast array of beautiful countries as Graham makes his journey across the Middle East, simultaneously gaining an insight into many different cultures. It’s not until you see a film that surveys so many places that are geographically close that you realise how different they really are.

There are several aspects in Graham’s life that make the hummus story quite a personal one, from his father’s war service in Jerusalem to significant relationships with Middle Eastern women. But why hummus? Graham claims “people love it, they like to eat it, it’s cheap, it’s tasty, and it’s relatively easy to make”.

Graham has interspersed animated sequences with interviews from a range of people on both sides of the debate to engage audiences throughout the film’s entirety. For a topic that isn’t always light hearted, Graham investigates in an enjoyable yet thought provoking way.

Always engaging and quite insightful, Make Hummus Not War will definitely have a significant impact on your mind and your stomach.

Make Hummus Not War is in Australian cinemas from September 13 through Antidote Films.

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