Awara Soup | Chicago Reader

Awara Soup

Cesar Paes's 1996 documentary, set in French Guyana, explores a small town's extraordinary cultural diversity. The title refers to a local soup that harmoniously blends every possible ingredient—a metaphor for the town's populace, which includes Europeans, American Indians, Hmong, and people of African descent. Rather than give his film a narrative framework or obvious organizational structure, Paes keeps it rambling and episodic, true to the town's unplanned cultural stew; visual facts provide the main interest, as the camera captures small details of cooking, animal slaughtering, pool playing, and other facets of local life.

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