Arts Film Review Singapore

Preview: Reel Talk – André and His Olive Tree at Golden Village Suntec

Released worldwide on Netflix in December 2020, Singapore is the only country where food documentary André and His Olive Tree is unavailable to stream on the service. But good news – it’s coming to cinemas this week.

And Singaporeans should be excited about this film, because the titular André refers to André Chiang, the Taiwanese chef behind Singapore’s very own Restaurant André, which garnered two Michelin Stars and was listed as number 14 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. While Chef André has closed the restaurant since 2018, he’s now returned to Taiwan to set up a new venture – RAW, which has similarly garnered rave reviews from food critics and diners.

In André and His Olive Tree, director Josiah Ng follows Chef André as he prepares to close his beloved Restaurant André in Singapore on Valentine’s Day of 2018, and return those coveted Michelin stars. This creates a shock to the industry, his staff, and his loved ones. The passionate perfectionist has sacrificed his childhood, battled critics and fought hard to stand out, but has decided to give it all up now. Chef André intimately reveals what’s on his plate next, and ponders what perfection truly means. André and His Olive Tree was also Taiwan’s highest-grossing documentary in 2020 and was officially selected to participate at both the 2020 Reykjavik International Film Festival and 2020 San Antonio Film Festival. 

Prior to the film’s full release in Singapore on 14th January, Golden Village will be organising a special screening on 13th January at GV Suntec, where ticketholders will be able to join a special Q&A session with filmmaker Josiah Ng and Chef André himself (via video call) after the film. 

“This film is important because it addresses our obsession with results and perfection, especially in a country like Singapore. In a broader sense, it’s an exploration into the Asian culture’s definition of success. However, we’re not about to say what is right or wrong, but to merely present an Asian Chef’s (Chef André) own obsession with results and recognition, only to realise that there is more to life”, says director Josiah Ng.

Reel Talk: André and His Olive Tree plays at GV Suntec from 13th January 2021 at 7pm, before the Q&A session post-screening at 8:55pm. Tickets available here

André and His Olive Tree is available to watch at Golden Village Cinemas in Singapore from 14th January 2021, and Netflix in all other regions. 

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