A movie about Kimchi is filming by a Korean director, which will be released in Hollywood and in Korea at the end of the year, according to news reports.
"Kimchikhan" is a documentary, which introduces the history and benefits of Kimchi as a health food.
Shin Heung-sik, director of "Kimchikhan," said on May 26 that "The movie is intended to reveal to the world the superiority of Korean Kimchi, surrounded by fast food and junk food." He continued, "The movie is filming in Korea, the United States, and Japan as main stages and about 70 percent of the movie is completed."
Shin added that "Kimchikhan" is going to play in approximately a hundred theaters in the United States. The director is currently staying in Korea, filming scenes taking place in the country.
The director had originally planned to make a comedy movie about Kimchi. "Initially, the plan was to make a movie about an American cook who became Kimchi master in Korea," Shin was quoted as saying.
He said he decided to alter the genre of the movie from comedy to documentary to present the delicate flavor and health benefits of Kimchi.
An excerpt from his press release earlier in the month:
A fascinating story of health and the quest for longevity, the story transports us on an eye-opening trip to South Korea in hopes to change the basis of the food essentials we consume everyday. In the United States, the food the average American consumes is fast and satisfying to taste, but rarely gives the nutrients the body needs for a healthy lifestyle.
The food that all human beings need is one that is satisfying and tasty but also keeps our mind and body healthy.
Through this journey, the main chef in the story creates a groundbreaking new menu with an entirely different preparation and process for an ultimate green and healthy cooking culture to discover the 6th taste bud that is beyond the salty, sweet, spicy, sour and even greasy tastes. The story reveals the secret to the health effects of kimchi (a spicy cabbage dish) as well as many other Korean foods - which is fermentation.
The idea behind it is a “slow food” philosophy, which takes a long time to prepare and has an equally long positive effect on the body. These slow foods are known to revive the body and have powerful healing effects. The story takes us on an adventure, explaining the process through interviews and discoveries with renowned chefs, professors as well as restaurants in the United States, Korea and Japan.
The movie's homepage is here. I'm not going to deny that kimchi is healthy---today I was told it's the best medicine against swine flu---nor will I deny that Americans eat like fucking pigs. But I will bring up this excerpt of an article about the health benefits of kimchi:
Understandably, perhaps, dissenters on the topic of its healing power are circumspect.
"I'm sorry. I can't talk about the health risks of kimchi in the media. Kimchi is our national food," said a researcher at Seoul National University, who begged not to be quoted by name.
Among the papers not to be found in the vast library of the kimchi museum is one published in June 2005 in the Beijing-based World Journal of Gastroenterology titled "Kimchi and Soybean Pastes Are Risk Factors of Gastric Cancer."
The researchers, all South Korean, report that kimchi and other spicy and fermented foods could be linked to gastric cancer, the most common cancer among Koreans. Rates of gastric cancer among Koreans and Japanese are 10 times higher than in the United States.