Foodie Flicks: The Chef of South Pole (Nankyoku Ryourinin) (2010)

Now here’s another strange setting for a foodie film – The South Polar! Well, it’s true that we have seen so many films about either North or South Polar and the wild life, explorations, illegal fishing, and et cetera. But a comedy about it? Sure as hell, I haven’t seen anything about it and that’s where The Chef of South Polar came in!

Dome Fuji Station is located deep inside the icy jungle of South Polar. Temperatures may reach as low as -70 degrees of Celcius and having around -50 degrees would be a stroll in the park. The sun came up only for specific amount of time in a year and there will be months when darkness will enshroud the South Pole. Tough life!

A team that comprises of technicians, researchers, a doctor, and a chef are assigned for a year to live there. Hard work would be something to pass the time as well as having fun with the comrades, but for somebody like Chef Nishimura, food is definitely the way to keep everybody sane.

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He’s good with cooking and being a navy kitchen crew, he’s in good terms with assignments far from home. Even so, he had to leave her wife and his two beloved kids back home for this one-year-feels-like-an-eternity job.

Stopping here, this film sounds very promising as we can probably explore the human story or the conflicts brewing from living in a secluded place like the South Pole. But that’s not what happen in the film after all!

It’s all about the funny interactions between the nerdy technicians and researchers, as well as the crazy doctor. Nishimura somehow becomes the normal guy among them and the guy they confide in in times of trouble and hunger.

Fun facts about living in the South Pole are explored a bit in this film but what I love the most would be the food scenes. There are times when Nishimura prepare Japanese dishes with such details and love and there’s this hilarious time when seeing everybody dressed up to attend a French-style dinner.

But the best part would be when some of the crews get frustrated because they ran out of ramen and Nishimura saves the day with his experiments. Seeing everybody enjoying their bowl of hot ramen and slurping so hard is just golden!

Basically, it’s a film for everyone who loves to see a change of view and to examine the ‘struggle’ of life in the coldest part of the earth. For me, it’s simply because of the food and how I am so glad to see people appreciate and enjoy it so much. Shuichi Okita directed it well and everything got better because of a help from a food stylist whom they said helped Naoko Ogigami’s Megane (2007) and Kamome Shokudou (2006).

Now I have a sudden craving of ramen because of this..

For the trailer, do check this link:


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THE CHEF OF SOUTH POLE (Nankyoku Ryourinin) (2010)

Drool Level: *** (looks yum!)

Director: Shuichi Okita

Producer: Toshikazu Nishigaya

Screenwriter: Shuichi Okita, based on the novel by Jun Nishimura

Starring: Masato Sakai, Kengo Kora, Kosuke Toyohara, Katsuhisa Namase, Takashi Ukaji, Kitaro, Kanji Furutachi, Daisuke Kuroda, Masahiro Kohama

Genre: Drama, Comedy


Pictures taken from various sources


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