Politiki Kouzina (A Touch of Spice)


Politiki Kouzina (A Touch of Spice)

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Reviews Counted: 13

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,967


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Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 4/5

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Movie Info

The historical conflicts between Greece and Turkey and the lives of those caught in between are explored in Tassos Boulmetis' debut feature, the autobiographical drama A Touch of Spice. A box-office smash in Greece, the film won the Audience Award at the 2003 Thessaloniki Film Festival, and had its U.S. premiere in competition at the 2004 Tribeca Film Festival. After a brief prologue, which introduces its astronomer-chef protagonist, Fanis (Georges Corraface of Escape From L.A.), who lives in Greece and is preparing for a visit from his grandfather, Vassilis (Tassos Bandis), the film flashes back to his boyhood 35 years earlier in Istanbul, where Vassilis, who owns a grocery store, teaches Fanis about the connection of various spices to life and to the universe. The precocious Fanis makes a deal with a girl he likes, Saime (played as an adult by Basak Köklükaya), that he'll cook for her if she dances for him. Eventually, political turmoil intrudes on the family's happiness, and Fanis' father, Savas (Ieroklis Michailidis), a Greek, is forced to take his wife (Renia Louizidou) and son out of the country. They settle in Athens, but never get over the trauma of being deported. In addition to missing his grandfather, Fanis never gets over his connection to Saime. His grandfather repeatedly promises to visit, and to bring the girl along, but always has an excuse for canceling the trip at the last minute. Meanwhile, Fanis grows up despondent and depressed. He quickly develops a great talent for cooking, which his parents strongly discourage. It's not until he's in his forties that Fanis makes the voyage back to Istanbul to resolve his relationship with the two most important people in his life.


Critic Reviews for Politiki Kouzina (A Touch of Spice)

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (5)

  • Since it's going to make you mighty hungry anyway, I'd suggest skipping A Touch of Spice and going straight to dinner.

    Apr 24, 2009 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
  • A lovely sense of community and family permeates, and Corraface, a familiar face in many American and Greek productions, anchors it all. But don't expect to taste anything surprising.

    Apr 24, 2009 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • The food metaphors pile up like layers of an overstuffed sandwich in A Touch of Spice.

    Apr 24, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • The meals look ravishing; the film, however, leaves nothing but a sickly-sweet aftertaste.

    Apr 22, 2009 | Rating: 2/6 | Full Review…

    David Fear

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • A sentimental Greek offering that's been immensely popular in its home country but doesn't translate well.

    Nov 29, 2005 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • A Touch of Spice has a few imaginative and amusing scenes as well as all the right ingredients of a romantic dramedy, but those ingredients merely simmer without coming to a boil. It often feels contrived and convoluted while its variety of ingredi

    Apr 24, 2009 | Rating: 5.75/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Politiki Kouzina (A Touch of Spice)


When I read some of the reviews written by the critics I have to say that NONE of them watched the movie to the end or they need a lesson in history... because there is no other logical explanation for bad review! This movie was made in 2003, not 2006 as stated on this site, and in it amazing Greek director Tassos Boulmetis is achieving carefully constructed emotional impact with a lot of sweet touches and unique Balkan sense of humor. The film is constructed like a meal; the segments are labeled "appetizer," "main course" and "dessert"... The Balkan society has the food related to everything: marriage, astronomy, even politics... and the director managed to recognize and transfer that recognition to the audience! (Quote: "If a diplomat smells of garlic, trouble is stirring.") Slow pace at the end is not tiresome, it adds up to the whole feeling of expectation... and I have to say, for me this is one of the best Greek movies ever (it is the most successful at the Greek Box Office)! Please, get it on a DVD and enjoy it!

Panta Oz
Panta Oz

Super Reviewer

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