Canada Now: All You Can Eat Buddha

All You Can Eat Buddha
All You Can Eat Buddha
Written and Directed by Ian Lagarde
Starring Sylvio Arriola, Ludovic Berthillot, Yaite Ruiz, David La Haye and Alexander Guerrero
Screening at Canada Now May 4th, 2018

by Bernie C Byrnes

Mike (Ludovic Berthillot) has diabetes. He is also a compulsive eater. When he misses his bus to the airport he decides to stay on at the all-inclusive resort in sumptuous Cuba until it kills him. The staff doesn’t want him to die, but what can you do? The customer is always right. That’s the straightforward breakdown of All You Can Eat Buddha, Ian Lagarde’s first feature as a director; but it’s not the whole story.

Made in the Absurdist style, this film is weird – I mean really weird – I had to think about it for a while before I started to properly ‘get it’ and even now I still find myself thinking WTF?

That it is about something, and something important at that, there is no doubt, but the confusion here lies more in ‘how does someone come up with something like that?’ than in the film’s intentions. I already know that if we start looking after our planet better (particularly the sea), we’ll feel better for it, but when I think of Global Consumerism, my mind doesn’t jump to sexy octopuses. At least it didn’t, but it will now…

Greed is good, apparently, it makes you attractive to others but it also makes your arms and legs drop off. Paradise quickly becomes purgatory in this quirky feature, and the idyllic island rapidly descends into political upheaval and general unrest. There’s a lesson here – if we keep gobbling up the earth’s resources, pretty soon there will be nothing left – but there is definitely no preaching in this one. Ian Lagarde has made a bold entry onto the scene and has done a great job of creating something truly unusual as well as poignant.

It’s a slow burn – give it a while to settle. Sleep on it (although maybe give any midnight snacks a miss…).


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