In a romantic relationship, to represent our fidelity and devotion, we have rings. In the baking world, it just makes sense that a donut is also a ring. Filling our bellies and our social media feeds, donuts are a delicious staple in our diet - especially in the USA, where they consider them a breakfast food (yikes!)... and even more so in Los Angeles, where it's said that there is one donut shop for every 7,000 people. FYI, there are 3.9 million people in LA.
In the 1970s, Dunkin Donuts had the monopoly on the east coast of America, while Winchell's occupied the west coast. That is until a Cambodian refugee with the mind of an entrepreneur and the heart of a sugar lover smelled the sweet sweet aroma of a freshly-baked donut for the very first time - and it was love at first bite. 'The Donut King' explores Ted "Uncle Ted" Ngoy's journey from Cambodia during the war, to his time as a refugee with his wife and two children first starting out in America, to becoming the king of a donut empire, rubbing shoulders with presidents and introducing other Cambodian refugees to the American dream by way of the beloved donut.
This is yet another fabulous documentary that allows us access behind the curtain into a world we knew nothing about. We buy donuts by the dozen. We covert them. We crave them. We devour them. But never in a million years would we consider the souls behind them or comprehend the idea that the humble donut could change lives. Thousands of lives.
'The Donut King' has everything - war, immigration, rags to riches, riches to rags, heart, soul, family, love, friendship, redemption. It brings to light the pitfalls of the American Dream and it does it all with incredible characters, amazing stories and the humble donut.
Never in a million years would we consider the souls behind the humble donut or comprehend the idea that they could change lives. Thousands of lives.
Alice Gu's directorial debut is, simply put, wonderful. This rollercoaster ride has everything you could want and more in such a tale. And it truly showcases what can be achieved when communities come together and chose to use their power for good instead of hatred.