Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 20th 2014 Contents B37
July 20, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
By Chapter Six of The Hundred-
Foot Journey, our July Sunday Arts
Section (SAS) Book Club choice, it
is clear that this is a remarkable
novel about the complex relation-
ship people have with the place
they call home.
For Madame Mallory, the old,
French chef, trained in the art of
French cuisine, home means uphold-
ing ancient, culinary traditions. For
Hassan Haji s family a concept of
home runs the gamut from uphold-
ing simple family food traditions to
creating new twists on traditional
recipes in foreign places.
The turning point for the Haji
family comes when they decide to
settle in Lumière, a village in France.
There, the Haji family must face
Madame Mallory and her posh hotel
restaurant. While the Hajis discover
French bread as a great dipping
device for their curry, Hassan is dis-
covering new foods, like the arti-
chokes he describes as looking like
The juxtaposition of Madame
Mallory s refined restaurant and the
Haji family s crude eating place, with
loud music and tacky decorations,
provides tongue-in-cheek humour.
But this deceptively simple story is
really a profound look at the collision
of two cultures. In many ways, The
Hundred-Foot Journey is the story
of every person s struggle to fit in
and simultaneously find a purpose
Here is a story about more than
two restaurants competing with each
other. This is about the acceptance
we all seek in life. A fine line sep-
arates harmless nostalgia and living
in the past with no present.
Madame Mallory demonstrates
how we can sometimes be our own
worst enemies, especially when we
don t open ourselves up to new
experiences or admit that we are
One of the main turning points
in the novel is when Monsieur Le
Blanc accuses Madame Mallory of
being selfish for her treatment of
the Haji family. Madame Mallory
tries to run the Indian family from
France because she cannot accept
this cultural invasion of her remote
She thinks she is preserving her
way of life in a noble way, but when
Monsieur Le Blanc asks, "All that
money you have, and what have you
done that is really important?" read-
ers must also stop to consider how
to measure what truly makes a good
or important life.
This is the point when Madame
Mallory decides to train Hassan in
the art of French cuisine. Is it her
way of accepting a foreign culture
or has she found a new way of being
controlling? There are so many ques-
tions to answer.
1 . Madame Mallory is well educated and she runs a posh restaurant,
yet Hassan's father accuses Madame Mallory of being uncivilised
because of her mean-spirited treatment of his family. Can someone
be educated and successful and still be uncivilised?
2. Madame Mallory goes to great lengths to drive the Hajis out of
Lumière. What is her motivation? Is she prejudiced, afraid of change
or jealous of Hassan's talent?
3. Why does Hassan need to live at Madame Mallory's when his family
lives right across the street? Does this make Madame Mallory
controlling or kind?
4. How do you measure a successful life? How much of a factor does
money play in measuring a great life?
5. Is it possible to be successful in life solely on one's merit or do we
need people's support to succeed?
Join the SAS Book Club group
on Facebook to discuss The
Hundred-Foot Journey and your
Order your copy of Trash by
Andy Mulligan for our August
SAS Book Club. Trash is a
Young Adult novel for readers 12
and older. Its message will
resonate with young readers
More than five years in the
making, a documentary about
World War II veteran and states-
man Ulric Cross has finally com-
pleted filming and is now in post-
production, director Frances-Anne
The film, Hero, will combine
documentary footage with re-
enactments by a cast of actors
including singer/artist Nickolai
Salcedo as Cross.
Cross was a decorated vet
who d served in the Royal Air
Force, becoming the only West
Indian in his squadron and its
leader. He later got his law degree
and spent 16 years in Africa,
where he played a key role in the
development of a handful of
He served as the attorney gen-
eral of west Cameroon, then a
high court judge in Tanzania. He
was an adviser to Ghanaian leader
He returned to T&T and served
as judge in the High Court and
Court of Appeal. After his time
in the judiciary, he was T&T s
high commissioner to the UK and
ambassador to France and Ger-
many. He received the country s
highest honour, the Order of the
Republic of Trinidad and Tobago,
He died peacefully in his sleep
in October last year.
Hero s schedule saw the crew
shooting on location in Trinidad,
London and Ghana.
"The journey of following in
Ulric Cross s footsteps as he trav-
elled from his homeland in the
Caribbean to Europe and on to
Africa was illuminating and exhil-
arating," Solomon said via e-mail.
"We were privileged to work
with many extraordinary actors
and crew on all three continents,"
she added, "including Joseph Mar-
cell, Jimmy Akingbola, and Fraser
James from the UK, John Dumelo
and Ajetey Anand from Ghana,
and of course our own Nickolai
Salcedo, who played Ulric Cross."
Solomon could not give a pre-
miere date for the film.
"But it is sure to premiere in
Trinidad, and will also have pre-
mieres in England and in Ghana
before [the film is] released inter-
nationally," she said.
Solomon s long resume in film
and television includes the 2007
award-winning drama A Winter
Tale and the Canadian/Caribbean
sitcom Lord Have Mercy!
Hero is one of a number of
local films that are in different
stages of production this year.
The Sunday Arts Section will be
looking at some of them over the
On the set of Hero. The
biographical docu-drama recently
concluded filming in Ghana, London
and Trinidad. PHOTO COURTESY
Ulric Cross film wraps up shooting
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