Thursday, April 23, 2015

Sean Kelly

Hot Docs 2015: The Sandwich Nazi

Sandwich_Nazi

A former male escort who makes the “Best Sandwiches in North America” is the subject of The Sandwich Nazi.  Salam Kahil is a Lebanese man, who runs La Charcuterie Delicatessen in Vancouver.  Formerly a male escort, Salam will often relate stories of his former career, in explicit detail, to his customers while preparing their sandwiches.  Despite a habit of verbally abusing his customers, Salam also has a heart of gold, with him regularly making sandwiches for the local homeless.

With a sign on his door warning that his deli contains course language and nudity, as well as a number of strict rules, such as no cellphone use, Salam Kahil is the sandwich equivalent of “The Soup Nazi” from Seinfeld.  Running his shop for more than 26 years, Salam calls his giant sandwiches the best in North America and he is not afraid to tell incredibly crude and politically incorrect stories to his customers.  Even though these stories can be a little too much to handle at times, beneath them is a complex individual with a complicated past.

It would probably be too much if the entirety of The Sandwich Nazi was about the fact that Salam Kahil is the epitome of a dirty old man. Thankfully, the film gets deeper into the man he is, which includes his habit of giving trunk fulls of sandwiches to the homeless and the somewhat estranged relationship he has with his family back in Lebanon.  In fact, the film is much more dramatic in the second half, after it gets past all the crude stories that the film opens up with. Overall, while some of the dirty stories of Salam Kahil might turn off some viewers, The Sandwich Nazi turned out to be a very interesting biography of a very complex man.

★ ★ ★ 1/2 | FAIR 

Screenings:

  • Fri, Apr 24, 7:15 PM – Scotiabank Theatre 7
  • Sun, Apr 26, 9:45 PM – Scotiabank Theatre 3
  • Sun, May 3, 7:00 PM – Scotiabank Theatre 4

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).