The Movie

“Falafel!, Give Peas a Chance!” takes veteran filmmaker Ari A. Cohen all over the Middle East in order to discover the true potential behind the falafel (a deep-fried bean ball) and its possible role as a gateway to peaceful co-existence in the region.
Tracing back the long history of this common street food from the time of the pharaohs to the present, ”Falafel! “ explores the hotly disputed origins of the falafel, between Israelis who claim the savory snack as its national food and other Arab nations who claim it has been wrongly appropriated, thus mirroring issues of the larger Middle Eastern conflict.
Heading out into the streets, sidewalks, kitchens, vending carts and homes of experts and everyday people, Cohen learns first-hand how the unassuming and ubiquitous dish has brought people together in far-off places – such as Toronto, New York and Paris – and tries to see whether similar unity can be achieved in the Middle East, as well. With every new bite and each new kitchen he is humbly invited into, Cohen presents fascinating stories that are tied to nostalgia, loss, happiness, generosity and the universal need for rights, mutual respect and dignity.

About the filmmaker

Producer and director Ari A. Cohen was born in Morocco and lives in Montreal. As a director, he has created acclaimed films and television series including Women Warriors (19-part series for CBC, Radio Canada, and CTV), Red Carpet for the Sun: Irving Layton (CBC)I Want to be Happy: The Jackie Washington Story (BRAVO!), The World’s a Stage with John Neville (BRAVO!, TV3 Spain)The Instrument Bank (BRAVO!, Gemini nomination: Best Performing Arts Program),  and The Uluit (APTN, Gemini nomination: Best Documentary Series). 

As a Producer, Ari has produced award-winning documentaries including Being Osama (CBC’s A Passionate Eye, Al Jazeera, RDI), Too Colorful for the League: A History of Blacks in Hockey (CBC), and Schmelvis: Searching for the King’s Jewish Roots.