Sunday, April 20, 2014

Anthony Bourdain kicks off Season 3 of "Parts Unknown" with Punjab, Indai, and the border with Pakistan

Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” kicked off its Season 3 with a visit to Punjab, India.  The basic link is here.

The most interesting part of the documentary was probably the train ride into the mountains, through many tunnels, and an old railroad that runs along steep embankments, looking pretty unstable. 
A good part of the broadcast showed a bizarre confrontation ceremony between military guards at the border of India and Pakistan. 
Bourdain noted that farmers in the area lost land when the British partitioned Pakistan from India, or that today farmers have to cross the border and deal with the guards.

Bourdain also noted the heroin addiction in the area, part of which he attributes to the political conflict. He points out that these are two nuclear powers (although Pakistan has only the “suitcase nukes”).

As for the food, it was rather, well, lumpy.  Yesterday, at a Bar Louie, the person next to me ate raw oysters.  It’s not polite to photograph other people’s food, but it reminded me of Bourdain.

There was quite a bit of rural poverty, and I thought about the film by Rocky Braat “Blood Brother”  (Movies, Feb. 16), or even the video “Tomorrow” by Timo Descamps (Drama and music blog, March 27).

Wikipedia attribution link  for “Quidditch” stadium in Punjab.

Will Bourdain take on cultural hot spots, like Uganda and Nigeria (with the anti-gay laws), Ghana (with oil company controversy as well as Nigeria, again, with security problems for oil and privacy), Somalia (piracy), or the Central African Republic, which badly needs deep journalistic coverage in the midst of anarchy, or, for that matter, Syria.

Bourdain had kicked off Season 3 with a special hour reviewing Season 2, with emphasis on a few episodes, especially Sicily (where he was not pleased with the technical quality of the show) and Detroit. 

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