Directed by Daniel Kaluuya and Kibwe Tavares, ‘The Kitchen’ transports us to a grim futuristic London that has seen the wage gap stretched to breaking point, with all social housing having been abolished. A solitary community known as The Kitchen stands defiant against the government and refuses to abandon their home. Among them are Izzy and Benji, each having a tragic past and looking to a hopeful future. Izzy has been living a solitary life in The Kitchen, desperate to find a way out. Benji is a 12-year-old orphan who is searching for somewhere to survive and belong.
They, along with the rest of The Kitchen, face frequent riot control attacks and are continuously pressured to abandon their home. The residents fight back with whatever means are at their disposal, roving in biker gangs, creating makeshift weapons, and even a giant slingshot to shoot drones out of the sky. Yet the system is rigged against them, and our protagonists will have to find a new way forward. The Netflix film’s dystopian landscape is a concrete jungle with graffiti-covered streets and drab skyscrapers. The Kitchen’s narrow roadways and battered complexes may ignite inquisitiveness regarding the real-world locales used to create the unique setting.
The Kitchen Filming Locations
‘The Kitchen’ was filmed largely in and around the Barbican area in London, with a few scenes shot in Paris. Principal photography began in March of 2022 and was wrapped up by June 2 of the same year. Let us take a closer look at the filming sites chosen for the Netflix production.
A majority of the filming for ‘The Kitchen’ was carried out in Barbican, a part of London’s financial district. The area is defined by the Barbican estate, recognized for its Brutalist 1960s design characterized by a raw, unpolished look. This residential and arts complex comprises high-rise towers and low-rise terrace buildings surrounding a central plaza. With its barebones design and extensive growth of vegetation in its central areas, the Barbican estate became the perfect backdrop to create the eponymous rebel community in ‘The Kitchen.’
A central theme of the film is one of rebellion, which sees every member of The Kitchen stand against an oppressive authority. The filmmakers chose an apt filming location in the Barbican Center, as the entire structure stands in rebellion of modern design conventions. While its surrounding financial district is lined with sleek and glossy skyscrapers, Barbican’s gritty structures create a starkly contrasting landmark in the cityscape.
The area’s beating heart is the Barbican Centre for Arts, a cultural beacon and architectural marvel. Renowned for its avant-garde design, this multifaceted arts complex is a hub of creativity and innovation. The Barbican Centre encompasses a concert hall, theaters, art galleries, cinemas, and a tropical conservatory, offering a diverse range of artistic experiences under one roof. It became the central hub for The Kitchen and the heart of the resistance. The unique locale has also been featured in the films ‘Sherlock Holmes,’ ‘The Hunger,’ ‘Quantum of Solace,’ ‘RocknRolla,’ and ‘Johnny English.’
Parts of the dystopian world of ‘The Kitchen’ were portrayed by the Damiers complex in Paris’ financial district. A condominium complex in Courbevoie, it is locally known as Damiers de Dauphiné. The buildings in the complex are peculiarly shaped, in a stacked pyramid format. This tiered shape allows the penetration of natural light right down to the lower levels of the building. The Brutalist design was typical of the 1910s but became popular in the 1960s.
In every external shot of The Kitchen, we can spot structures bearing a strong resemblance to the buildings of the Damiers complex. They have been altered with visual effects, but the core design principles remain the same. Even when we follow the characters on the street level, the Brutalist structures can be spotted in the background, with their footage being used on green screens.
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