‘Kitchen Stories’ – a Must-See Movie by Bent Hamer

Kitchen Stories (Norwegian: Salmer fra Kjøkkenet) is a 2003 Norwegian film by Bent Hamer.

Plot: Folke Norstrom is assigned the task of observing Izak Bjornsson’s kitchen habits as part of a scientific project aimed at designing efficient kitchen spaces.(The project is organized by the Swedish “Home Research Institute” just after WW II; Folke is one of eighteen men sent to observe single Norwegian males in their kitchens.) He is to follow a strict regimen of observation without participation.

However, it soon becomes apparent that such an observational style is unmanageable. The ethnographic experience becomes complicated and far richer than Folke had ever anticipated. Such complications are predictable enough. All deep human relationships are complicated.

For Folke, these complications turned the ethnographic experience into something like the moment depicted by M.C. Escher’s “Drawing Hands.”

Any ethnographer who has tried to undertake scientific observation in the manner prescribed for Folke will certainly appreciate the transformation that occurs and the awakening that he undergoes.

Watch the trailer here:


By Thor Bugge Lanesskog, ThorNews

Categories: Culture, Film & TV

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