“Bourek is a family of baked or fried filled pastries made of thin flaky dough known as yufka (or phyllo). Today, Bourek is very popular in the cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire, especially throughout the Balkans, in North Africa and the Middle East: Greece, Turkey, Albania, former Yugoslavia, Tunis, Algeria, Israel...”
W.C. Rupperts, a paranoid billionaire, gets convinced by aTelevangelist preacher, who thinks he has decoded the Bible’s doomsday code, that the world will end soon. The only place to survive the cataclysm is a spot on specificcoordinates, which landon the sleepy island of Khronos, Greece
The next day, W.C. is on his way to Greece, together with his 30-year younger “fiancée” Lilly, who is constantly scheming to find new ways get her hands on W.C.’s money. W.C. carries a big suitcase, secretly stashed with wads of ten-thousand dollar bills. He wants to save his money from the cataclysm, although he didn’t think through what he would do with it afterwards.
Simultaneously, theburnt-out disheveledBritishD.J. T.J. Crush, collapses at the door of BourekTaverna in Khronos, claiming to suffer complete amnesia. BourekTavernais run by Greek brother and sister Vasilis and Eleni. It is a sleepy tavern, as well as bed-and-breakfast, bakery and convenience store, where the time seemingly stands still. Few guests come, except for the local old men, who play Tavliin front of the tavern. Eleni is trying to continue the family tradition, but is drowning in debt, while Yorgo, a Greek hustler and developer, working for a German company, wants to buy the tavern from Eleni and her brother. He wants to build a mega-hotel complex in its place.
As if TJ Crash were a messenger of change,suddenly a couple of “organic-only” visitors appear–Japanese conceptual artist Fujiko and her partner -seeking unspoiled food and nature, as well as W.C. and Lilly. As if that were not enough, a couple of inept lady-killers from Serbia show up, sleeping in their car, stacked with cansof sardines and spam, living on 1 Euro a day, as well as an illegal Turkish Hashish-dealer, waiting for a fake passport to escape to Sweden, and aLybian refugee, who washes up on the shore.
Thisinternational cast of characters reenacts the absurdities and comedies of who they are and where they come from–initially playing sterotypes and cliches butslowly transcending their differences, and each one of them discovers something or someone that gives new meaning to their lives, fueled in no small part bythe food they share, especially the pastry Bourek.
Director’s Note of Intent
The naive utopia of BOUREK is of course an impossible reality, but hopes to transport viewers to a different place for 90 minutes. Intended to be seen as a «feel-good» small movie, without big pretentions, BOUREK uses somedeliberate naivéte and plays with clichés, as well as farceand allegory, to tellthe story of how simple things and traditions are universal, and can serve to bring us back together. In the film, this is personified through the international cast of characters –often eccentric, but never boring –who search for an escape or some deeper truths in their lives, and through the struggle of the Greek lead Eleni,who wants to preserve timeless traditions against cheap profiteering, personified in the wheeling-and-dealing Yorgo. But everything changes with the unexpected appearance of the amnesiac DJ, TJ Krash, who becomes the catalyst for transformation and change.
The fictional Greek island of “Khronos,” wherethese stories unfold, provides the unique ancient beauty and tranquility that will eventually enable each of the characters to change and transcend their limitations, while Bourek–a food that is shared in many quite different countries along the Mediterranean -becomes a simple metaphor for the deeply human traits we all share.
Aesthetically, the film followsthe characters and situations, accentuating the relationship of characters to the unique environment, and giving actors space to develop the characters and inhabit them fully. In that sense, the camera followsthe actors, rather than actors having to conform to the camera, relying on open and fluid shots. The goal is to create a dynamic story, where the timing and actors’ interactions will carry the humor and bring the story forward.
While most of the film unfolds in Greece, this is juxtaposed with the opening segment,which is shot in New York, accentuatingthe urban, stressfulworld of a mega-city.