Shrouded in mystery since it began as a modest 200-person pop-up dinner in 1998 (well before the pop-up dinner was a thing), Diner En Blanc has expanded into a world-wide phenomenon. Last June, more than 13,000 people converged on a park near Notre Dame for a communal feast void of commercial territorialism (there are no dinnerware or bottled water sponsors at these rather organic gatherings). And up until this point, the organizers (a committee of 10) have remained anonymous.
In his documentary (available for purchase for $6.99), Paris filmmaker Hugues Hariche recorded the event’s planning meetings and followed the organizers as they measured areas surrounding various monuments to see if spots could accommodate the flow of thousands of people. He also followed various groups of families and friends as they shopped, cooked and traveled to the dinner. The film also addresses the group’s expansion to 40 additional markets, including New York City — which is scheduled to host a dinner next month.