Barbecue: A film shot in Armenia and 11 other countries

A chance encounter in Texas led two Adelaide filmmakers into an adventure of a lifetime as they catalogued the one thing that links almost every culture in the world: barbecue, according to the Adelaide Review.

“The day we turned up in the Philippines, the airline had lost all our cameras,” says Matthew Salleh, one half of Urtext Films along with Rose Tucker. “So, for a week, the cameras were lost until we found them in a shed full of live chickens and fruit at the airport. You have to be pretty versatile when you’re flying around filming like that.”

Salleh is talking about just one of the dozen stops made on their epic documentary feature, Barbecue. Visiting 12 countries over nine months, Tucker and Salleh delved deep into the world’s myriad barbecue cultures to produce their diverse, humorous and inspiring documentary about the bonds forged between people over meat and fire.

“Everyone thinks that their barbecue is the best,” Tucker says. “Everywhere you go, their barbecue is the best. There’s no arguing.”

Tucker and Salleh are bursting with stories from their carnivorous odyssey. One quirky tale comes from one of the first countries selected to visit, and perhaps most surprising from the Australian perspective: Armenia.

“We were picking what countries we were going to go to, and we saw this video of this old man talking about Armenian barbecue, saying things like ‘Armenian barbecue is best barbecue’,” Salleh says. “His daughter had posted it online and gotten five million views or whatever. We thought it was hilarious. We just messaged them, his daughter lived in Melbourne. We skyped him and he arranged a room for us in Armenia.

Counting on her fingers, Tucker tells The Adelaide Review the places they visited. “We did, in order, Sweden, The Philippines, Mongolia, then South Africa, Armenia, a refugee camp on the border of Syria and Jordan, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, and then finished it off this year with Uruguay, Mexico and went back to Texas.”

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