Filmmaker Lewis Bennett is producing a unique series of monthly short films, each about something going on in British Columbia. His film for April is called “The Sandwich Nazi,” and is a beautiful portrait of sandwichtician Salam Kahil, owner of Scandanavian deli La Charcuterie.
I think anyone who has ever worked a retail or food service position has wanted to be the affably vitriolic asshole who treats customers like shit but is universally loved anyway. You want to be that quirky guy who yells at people about using their cell phones or taking too long to order, but have the customers consider it endearing.
It never works that way; one time I yelled at a little boy for double dipping in my almond butter samples, and it didn’t go over well. His mother looked at me with disdain increased from the usual Westchester “serviceperson scowl,” that the soccer mom’s normally toss my way.
Kahil tells stories of his former life as a male escort (the natural precursor to Canadian resteraunteurship,) and produces literally (for me) mouth-watering looking sandwiches. The stories are vulgar and delightful. They come with visual aids. It’s hard to show off something that’s been in your butt, then make a sandwich look delicious, but Kahil, Bennett, and cinematographer Benjamin Taft succeed.
This man is a fully-realized character in a way that most people are not; he makes you feel bad about yourself for not really being a person. When you compare yourself to Kahil, you feel like a shadow of a personality. I personally feel like Salim Kahil is a David Foster Wallace and I’m Bella Swan’s Dad.
La Charcuterie is the kind of place everyone wants to live near, where you can walk in, ask for “the usual,” get berated, and walk out with a delicious sandwich. That’s a dream of mine. The only person who makes me sandwiches before berating me is myself.
Be warned, there is a penis in the video. It is brandished floppingly, and with pride. Despite the graphic phallic display, the film is the quickest 9 minutes you’ll spend today.