SXSW 2016: ‘Bacon & God’s Wrath’ is a charming short about faith and pork

Bacon & God's Wrath

Bacon & God’s Wrath is a mixed-media documentary short directed by Sol Friedman, whose directorial efforts date back to 2010 with five different short film projects now in tow.

Clocking in at just under nine minutes, Friedman’s newest focuses on Razie Brownstone, a 90-year-old woman who has kept kosher her entire life. Raised by strict, religious parents, Razie habitually followed her faith well into her late 80s, never deviating from what she knew—either out of routine or due to fears instilled by alarming stories embedded in her mind at an early age. The impetus for change, though? The internet, of course.

At roughly 88 years old, Razie began getting online solely to find useful recipes, but quickly became engrossed in “The Google”—a slippery slope, to be sure. Several articles and YouTube rabbit holes later and she found herself questioning her inherited faith—beliefs mostly uncontested and followed as a reflex for the better part of a century. Ultimately, after becoming privy to loads of new information, conflicting views and more, Razie decided she was a “non-believer,” refusing to continue trusting in “such incredible nonsense.”

For Razie, one such way to challenge the ideology—as both a test and as an act of defiance of sorts—would be to break kosher (a nearly 90-year commitment at this point) by eating some sweet, sweet bacon for the first time ever.

“Every once in awhile, I think, ‘It’d be nice to have a bacon and tomato sandwich.’”

Brownstone herself admits to her story being “simple and nice,” which could also apply as the most concise and colloquial synopsis of Bacon & God’s Wrath itself. To liven things up, Friedman incorporates various types of animation and archival footage to allow for more engaging visuals. This, paired with Razie—a delightful woman who tells her story with a natural, comforting charm—makes for a pleasant experience. But again, there’s nothing overtly riveting here and the payoff is worth a warm smile at best. Some days, though, a warm smile is all the satisfaction you need.