Faith in Food – Christianity in Europe

“Faith in Food – Christianity in Europe”
“Les dieux passent à table – Les chrétiens d’Europe”

Documentary: 26 minutes
Written by: Catharina Kleber

Directed by: Catharina Kleber and Niloufar Taghizadeh

The way we eat has always been determined by religious dietary rules and traditions. Author Catharina Kleber explores how religion has shaped cuisine in five different regions of the world. Traces of Christianity in European food can be found everywhere in Germany and Spain.

In southern Germany, Christianity doesn’t always live up to the stereotype of strict German faith. Nevertheless, faith is noticeable everywhere in everyday life. A Protestant theologian prefers to please people with her food and cooks a traditional Lenten dish with her family. In the Catholic convent, beer is brewed and drunk every day, even during Lent. Sister Doris Engelhard is the last brewing religious in all of Germany and sees no contradiction in pleasure and faith – “pleasure is not sinful,” she proclaims confidently.

In Spain, faith dominates Semana Santa, the week before Easter. In Seville, people parade through the streets day and night, celebrating the brotherhoods that carry statues of saints weighing tons through the streets. In the adegas along the way, the faithful stop for refreshments. Protein-rich food and beer are essential companions for this week.

The journey to different interpretations of Christianity, in the midst of Lent brings the realization, even in a time associated with sacrifice, food is a powerful source of joy and connection for people around the world.

Commissioned by ZDF
in collaboration with ARTE
Supported by MFG Filmförderung Baden-Württemberg, Germany