AJFF Review: ‘Bacon and G-d’s Wrath’

AJFF Review: ‘Bacon and G-d’s Wrath’

Michael Jacobs

Atlanta Jewish Times Editor Michael Jacobs is on his second stint leading the AJT's editorial operations. He previously served as managing editor from 2005 to 2008.

An animated Razie rides the bus.
An animated Razie rides the bus.

The first Friday of the 2016 Atlanta Jewish Film Festival offers your first chance to see a newly anointed Sundance Film Festival prize winner, “Bacon and G-d’s Wrath.”

It’s a very Canadian short documentary about Razie Brownstone, 90, who explains that her introduction to the Internet and “the Google” four years earlier led her to YouTube videos that shattered her belief in G-d and religion, thus removing any reason to avoid bacon other than nine decades of habit.

Sundance’s Short Film Jury — Keegan-Michael Key of “Key & Peele,” Gina Kwon of Amazon Studios and Amy Nicholson of MTV — announced Wednesday that “Bacon” won the jury award for best nonfiction film.

There’s a lot of creativity in the nine-minute film, including a talking pig’s head and animation to bring Razie’s words to life. But as an intellectual exercise in questioning kashrut, director Sol Friedman’s work falls several strips short of a rasher.

While Razie seems like a nice woman, it’s hard to take anyone seriously who in the second decade of the 21st century lets the Internet overturn her beliefs and practices. I’m not critical of her decision to try bacon; I don’t keep kosher myself. But there’s no depth in the thinking of someone who realizes after 90 years that she won’t be struck down by a bolt of lightning if she tastes bacon.

Her reaction to eating bacon is about the same as my reaction to the film: OK, but is that it?

Still, all four of this year’s shorts programs are worth seeing because almost every short is better than “Bacon.”

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