Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A Short History of Sweet Potato Pie and How it Became a Flying Saucer

More from the DC Shorts Film festival: A strange, sweet and silly film, and especially strange to me, as I recognized so many of the cast members from the Safeway at the Watergate. Here's the synopsis:
In the tradition of 'Chocolat' comes 'Sweet Potato Pie.' Here is the true story of Pearl Mallory who works as a cook at the St. Mary's Court Retirement Home in Washington, DC. Hailing from rural Virginia, Pearl is one of eight children borne of the sons and daughters of slaves, Now, by the age of 82, she has lived nearly her entire life in kitchens cooking for senior citizens. But Pearl's cuisine is not the traditional beige and grey offerings normally found in the institutional walls of old people's homes. Her specialty-- Sweet Potato Pie. Mixed into the sweet cream, orange fruit, and exotic spices of Pearl's concoction is her inextricable connection with her tangled Southern roots and with her unyielding devotion to the Lord. She creates an irresistible and magical potion. With it's rich perfume, earthy taste, and silken lustre, Pearl's Sweet Potato Pie inspires the most extraordinary and unexpected effect on the normally sober and otherwise staid residents of St. Mary's Home. 'Sweet Potato Pie' is all the evidence you need to know that 'You are what you eat.'
But I think the real star of this film was Pearl's artist friend, a St Mary's Home resident who fell into baroque raptures over the color orange and, later, went around the dining room shooting everyone's pie with a can of Cool Whip.