Last night we made our way to the Jordanian Embassy in DC to attend the screening of a short film entitled The Kitchen Conqueror created by Jordanian-American movie maker Shereen Abd Al-baki. Before the screening she delivered a short lecture explaining her pioneering movie making method, which she has dubbed "design cinema" because of her design background and directorial style.
Her concept introduces design elements into movie making as a narrative tool, creating a colorful portrait for each frame of the film. She applied this idea to The Kitchen Conqueror, which tells the story of a Jordanian-American woman struggling to make the famous Arabic dish Magloubeh in her tiny Los Angles apartment. While in the process of purchasing ingredients for her festive meal, Shereen, who plays the protagonist, contemplates her identify as an Arab as well as inner conflicts that stem from being injected with elements of both East and West.
The movie played like a series of contemporary paintings joined together to tell a story of Orient meeting Occident. It was the first time I’d heard about the ‘design cinema’ concept. It found it extremely intriguing. Kudos to Abdul Baki for her efforts in revolutionizing movie making with a unique artistic vision.