98 DEGREES WEST
ZAMIR DISCOVERS BOURDAIN’S AMERICA
Feeling lost and abandoned Zamir Gotta, a longtime friend of Anthony Bourdain goes in search of the America Tony knew.
Anthony Bourdain knew America as a complex place. He knew there was no single statement that can tell us who we are. Instead, Bourdain preferred to show us tiny parts of this country. In 2009, Tony brought his long time traveling companion Zamir Gotta to America so Zamir could see for himself how “f-ed up” this place was… the result? Zamir instantly fell in love.
The film 98 Degrees West Zamir Discovers Bourdain’s America, represents the approximate geographic center of the United States. This point represents the reciprocal of 98 Degrees East, the center of Russia. As a Russian who traveled the world with Tony, he now watches our country on TV and wonders if we as Americans, have lost our center and are headed not in a direction of peace, but one of conflict. This film looks at the America that embraced Bourdain and pulls back the curtain to reveal stories that unite us in our common bonds. We begin to see who Zamir is -a man made famous by the most famous Philosopher-Cook in the world and is now trying to find his own way.
As Zamir puts it, “Unlike an American, I can talk about social issues without causing anger... I can ask about race, guns, even politics with a genuine curiosity. Hopefully I can learn about everyone and get behind the facade of what they do and see who they are. I am from Russia, I am not influenced by your politics. I hope I see things for what they are. That is what Tony would do.”
“How we see Bourdain and America is the real balancing act here” says, Stephen R. Powell, the films director. “Zamir is the inquisitor, the explorer in search of seeing America for himself, and at the same time seeking a deeper understanding of his friend Tony.”
“We wrapped principal photography the fall of 2021 and are now moving on to post-production.” Powell said.