A Tasty Mix of Violence & Food

I haven’t even seen The Butcher, The Chef and The Swordsman and I’m already hungry.

And I can tell I’m going to be even hungrier after seeing the movie. I’ve been here before, driven to my favorite restaurants for char siu bao, shredded duck soup or scallops and ho fan with black bean sauce first by double bills at the old Golden Classics (now the new Toronto Underground Cinema), then after Kung Fu Fridays and now by 2am cravings after Midnight Madness or cruelly delicious daytime TIFF flicks like Johnnie To‘s Vengeance, Mad Detective and Exiled. (Oh, Johnnie To, why are your films so filled with cool guys cooking such yumminess?)


Whether it’s the feast the Triad brothers share in Johnnie To’s The Mission (Midnight Madness, 2000) or the chopstick battle over the perfect chicken leg in Yuen Woo-Ping’s Iron Monkey, Chinese genre movies mix two of my favorite things: violence and food.

It doesn’t help that nearly every kung fu movie has a “tavern fight,” which is really code for “fight in a place where people drink tea and eat delicious looking snacks, oh my god, I need soup dumplings and a plate of spice and salt squid…” The hunger pangs are even worse with movies based around cooking and food like Kung Fu Chefs, starring Midnight Madness star Sammo Hung Kam-Bo, who also played on of Wong Fei-Hong’s most famous disciples, the eponymous butcher of The Magnificent Butcher.


So get ready to get hungry with The Butcher, The Chef and The Swordsman. It looks positively dangerous, with a mix of delicious action, comedy and just plain deliciousness.



Make your post-screening noodle house, barbecue joint and seafood restaurant plans now. And, if you already have a plan at the ready, help out fellow festivaleros by sharing your favorite places and dishes in the comments.

Just writing this is making me hungry. I’m not even sure that watching The Untold Story: Human Meat Roast Pork Buns could put me off pork buns right now.

Thursday, Sept. 16. 11:59pm Ryerson.
Friday, Sept. 17. 6:30pm AMC 6
Saturday, Sept. 18. 3:30pm Scotiabank Theatre 2

You can purchase tickets at the main TIFF site.

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