‘Bacon and God’s Wrath’

Perhaps one of the most cutting edge films at SBIFF this year is this nine-minute long film about an elderly Jewish woman whose eyes were opened so much by “the Google” that she’s decided to eat bacon for the first time in her life. Toronto’s Sol Friedman weaves in whimsical animation that’s equal parts quirky and lovable, presenting Razie’s plight in a way that relates to all ages.

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What were you trying to do with this film?

The broader idea behind the project was to explore some of the destructive aspects of religion and to see if there was a gentle way to counter some of the pervasive nonsense observed by the faithful — and to show how easy apostasy can be.

How did you find Razie?

While thinking about how best to explore that theme, I spoke with several people who had experienced similar transformations and though their stories were equally compelling, Razie (who is a family friend) presented an angle that was a bit more compelling to me — namely that it is never too late to give up on your faith. That said, becoming an Apostate is generally a difficult thing to do. A fundamentalist Christian or Jew may have to deal with being shunned by their community, while a Muslim apostate faces much greater dangers.

Why did you have her lie down to tell much of her story?

So having Razie lie down was obviously an allusion to the therapist’s couch — confessing her doubts and preparing for this symbolic gesture.

And what about the use of animation?

The use of mixed-media has been a feature of most of my short film work to date, a couple of which have screened at previous editions of SBIFF {Junko’s Shamisen (2010) & Day 40 (2014)}. Although there are aspects of the project that I’d really love to elaborate on, and I had a lot of fun with the technical challenges of Bacon.

Is there any hope for a longer version?

There are currently no plans for a feature version of this particular film, mainly because of my initial concerns that the style might be a bit too frenetic for anything longer than 9 minutes. But so far the response has been very warm. After the film finishes its festival tour, and we get the film to the online public, who knows…

What becomes of films like this?

This should hopefully spread pretty easily on the internet, and knowledge is pretty hard to contain, so sooner or later, the internet, and all the stuff on it, will reach those last holdouts. I’m sure there have already been many folks, young and old, and of every ethnicity imaginable who have had their minds blown by ‘the google.’ And I am very optimistic that there will be many more.

Is she now a regular bacon eater?

I think that for Razie, bacon is probably more of a special occasion kinda thing.


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