Lawmakers Bet Local Cuisine On Super Bowl Outcome

Originally published on January 31, 2014 7:58 am



Good morning, I'm David Greene.

Lawmakers are betting local cuisine on the Super Bowl. If Denver wins, the losers from Washington State will send apples, wine and smoked salmon from the great Northwest. If Seattle wins, Colorado will send beers, steak and whiskey. Colorado Congressman Cory Gardner said he'll also throw in Rocky Mountain oysters. I had to look those up. They're not oysters. They are part of a calf, specifically, a male calf. Another name for them, Montana Tender Groins - deep fried bits of-what make a bull a bull.




I know there were several people who were involved in putting together this documentary. You were involved at the beginning, right?

ORWA NYRABIA: I'm always involved as the producer of the film, but I was involved in the first half of the shooting as the cinematographer. I did the camerawork. And then when it started to be really almost impossible to get to Basset and Ossama and the guys, a wonderful activist who works in the film who also appears in the film, Katan(ph), became our main cinematographer. He was never - he never studied film. He's never - he's not professional, but I believe he did a job that is amazing, outstanding, because he was there with the guys, with Basset. So the camera doesn't have any distance anymore. It's just a part of the event.

INSKEEP: There's a shot that I'm sure I'll remember for a long, long time about an hour and five minutes in. And it's rebels trying to cross one of these open areas where the Syrian government can fire at them. And they run across one after another after another and finally one of them is hit. And it looks as if he's been hit by a linebacker on a football field. He tumbles over. Was this the cameraman you trained?

NYRABIA: The guy hit with a bullet was Katan's cousin. So you can see in the film that his camera for the first time is stumbling in his hands by falling from his hands. And he's shouting that's my cousin. That's my cousin.


KATAN: (yelling in Arabic)

NYRABIA: It's an understatement to say that such kind of cinematography work is brave. It's much more than that. And it's led by an amazing amount of faith in the importance of film, in the importance of passing this image or this vision to the rest of the world.

INSKEEP: What do you think about when you read the news of the peace negotiations going on now?

NYRABIA: I think I'm very hopeful. I'm just waiting to see what will happen. We're also scared of minor, small giveaways will be given. Just like, for example, getting a few food parcels into the siege. Or saying we can get only the sick women out. These kind of partial solutions will lead into them staying in the same situation but will allow the world, the international community and the media to celebrate some progress.

But to them it's not progress. It's just only a partial giveaway.

INSKEEP: As we are talking there is debate over United Nations' effort to get aid into Homs. And you are warning that even if that finally succeeds that we might draw the wrong message from that.

NYRABIA: Definitely it's a necessity to get aid into Homs, but on the other hand, this is not a solution. This is a kind of bluff at the expense of these people. So this is what's feared of in Homs.

INSKEEP: You have a scene in which Basset, one of the main characters, is pointing from a destroyed building - from high in a destroyed building across the street and saying that's the house where I grew up in and it's just a completely wrecked street. This is a city where you grew up and after you left, there you are viewing one more passive film, one more passive video of part of the city destroyed and then another part of the city destroyed. How did that affect you going through all that video?

NYRABIA: It's very difficult. I was there also. I witnessed - I personally witnessed a lot of the destruction. It's always painful but, at the same time, young men like Basset and women like others there in Homs still working, still with a beautiful spirit, they give you the answer to that question. You feel inspired and you feel ashamed if you fall into depression.

You feel that you cannot look at these guys, look how beautiful they are, how energetic and just how high their spirit is, you just believe that we can do better tomorrow morning and we can keep on pushing.

INSKEEP: Orwa Nyrabia, thank you very much.

NYRABIA: It's a great pleasure. Thank you.

INSKEEP: He's the producer of the documentary "Return to Homs." It just won the World Cinema Documentary Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. Listeners to this program may recall NPR's portrait of Homs from a few months ago. You can hear that story again coming up on NPR's WEEKEND EDITION Sunday. This is NPR News.

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