Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Pizza Deliveryman

Your normal pizza deliveryman does not check his AK47 before he starts a delivery and makes sure it is cocked and the safety is off. The again Ahmad is getting ready to make a delivery to the rebel soldiers on the frontline.

The Pizza factory in an abandoned building is less than 3km from the front, we cannot show the exterior of the building for security reasons as they do not want Gaddafi’s army to recognize the area and shell them out of business as they say.

Filming pizza making is not normally a dangerous assignment, but here I was in a flak jacket shooting a truly bizarre scene, 20 young men all volunteers under the watchful eye of a pizza chef of Libyan descent who until a few weeks ago was living and making pizza in Sweden.

The call of the revolution had bought him back to his hometown of Misrata, Ehmad Daiki had never fired a gun or any type of weapon and when asked by leaders what he could do, he replied I can make pizza.

And thus for the last two weeks, with his team he has been turning out 6000 slices of pizza a day for fighters. A production line chops olives, breaks up fresh garlic by banging it in a plastic bottle, crushes fresh tomatoes, knead and roll out dough. People and shopkeepers in Misrata as part of their war effort donate each and every ingredient.

Every time a rocket is launched in the area or even worse an incoming rocket lands in an adjacent field the whole production line celebrates by yelling

“Allah Akhbar”

Three ovens run non stop thru the late morning and lunch, each tray is cut up and five to six slices of fresh hot pizza are wrapped in tin foil to keep warm and within half an hour they are delivered up the road.

My producer and security advisor, refused to let me go up to the front for the delivery footage. Despite my annoyance of not being able to go up and film the final scenes.

The reason being

“Mal, How in the hell am I going to explain to New York, that you got injured or killed for a story on pizza, no you cannot go”

Even I had to agree after a short sulk, risk and reward as they say. No story or single shot is worth risking your life for, and a pizza story is not how I want to be remembered.

We gave a small camera to the delivery guy with the AK47.

Misrata, Libya


Phil Sylvester said...

do they do pineapple?

Marti said...

Mal, I'm trying to get a hold of you re: your work and your blog. Drop me a line, please, so I can explain why. Spotted your blog at Lenslinger. NOT SELLING ANYTHING.

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