The power of the snag

The power of the snag

Barbecue is the documentary feature film set to sizzle your screens, literally. Australian filmmakers Matthew Salleh and Rose Tucker showcase the power of snags on the barbie and how barbecuing transcends cultures and continents, bringing people together.

The film had its world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival 2017 and has now made its international Netflix debut.

For partners Rosie and Matthew it took a road trip across Texas to look at the barbie as more than a fond pastime but something intrinsically human and primal when standing or sitting around the fire sharing food.

The film takes the audience across twelve countries and languages on a cultural journey brought to life through the food, music and people.

For Matthew Salleh this project was more than just smoky good food. As they travelled, Salleh said he found similarities among people as they welcomed himself and Rose with open arms. A warm surprise, in a time where there is an incited fear of the “other” that can push people to close off from engaging in other cultures.

Barbecue came from my desire to show the best of cultures, relish their differences and be heartened by what is common to us all.

“There couldn’t be a more important time for that message, and perhaps barbecue can be the lens through which we can all see a fair, just, and beautiful world,” said Salleh.

Salleh admits this might seem ridiculous to all come from a film about barbecuing but that’s the point. It’s how something so simple can bring us together.

From the border of Syria and Jordan to Japan, New Zealand, South Africa and of course Australia, were just some of the countries visited where locals shared their unique barbecuing techniques and cuisines.

A 60-piece orchestra recorded the film’s score in Budapest making it more than a visual feast.

Adelaide-based composer Christopher Larkin, who produced the film score, said that Barbecue should not be taken lightly and the classically inspired score does not trivialise this journey.

“Rather it [the score] emphasises the importance of it, resulting in a melancholic and meaningful sound which provides the emotional link between the audience, and the strong, hardworking people and cultures shown on screen,” said Larkin.

Filmed over 200 days using cinematic 4K, this is a culinary and cultural ride; you’ll want to jump on.


Catch Barbecue on Netflix now. It is also available for purchase or rental through iTunes and Vimeo.


Melissa Stewart


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