Jiro Dreams of Sushi
Posted in: Events - Sunday, May 13 2012
Never did I imagine imagine stepping into Margaret and David’s shoes via this blog but having watched Jiro Dreams of Sushi this weekend, I felt this wonderful documentary film deserved a little write-up here. Least of all because it involves two of my favourite things (sushi and Tokyo), but mainly as it would be remiss of me to not share something that was unexpectedly heart-warming.
The feature film debut of director David Gelb, Jiro Dreams of Sushi is the story of Jiro Ono, an 86 year-old sushi chef who is considered by many to be the world’s best. If accolades from the likes of Anthony Bourdain and Joël Robuchon don’t convince you, then his 3-star Michelin rating should. Most telling however is the obvious respect held for Jiro by everyone from his fish monger to his rice dealer, and certainly his eldest son Yoshikazu who will one day take over the monumental role of head chef at Sukibayashi Jiro.
Jiro is the epitome of old Japan; a generation of men and women for which diligence and perseverance were basic necessities to survive in a country that fell in and out of warfare in the first half of the last century. In stark contrast to Japan’s ‘parasite singles‘ of today who co-habit with parents seemingly indefinitely, Jiro went to work from the age of nine, honing the skills which he imparts to a new generation of apprentices. It’s truly fascinating listening to this man (who is recognised as a living national treasure by the Japanese government) recount his life and genuine love for sushi.
Aside from featuring some visually stunning cinematography of the key subject matter (sushi never looked so beautiful!) this film provides not only an honest insight into sushi making as an artisanship (once fully trained, chefs are referred to as shokunin, or literally craftsmen) but also an interesting depiction of Japanese work and family culture. Even if you are not familiar with Japanese traditions, you’ll appreciate the changes that have transpired around Jiro, who all the while stands firm like an old tree at his bench, doing what he does best but still yearning to do better.
Jiro Dreams Of Sushi is screening now in Sydney (Chauvel Cinema), Adelaide (Palace Nova Eastend), Brisbane (Palace Centro) and Perth (Cinema Paradiso). Melbourne has already had its run last month but if you can locate a DVD, do check it out :)
Foodies and fans of Japan will truly enjoy this documentary but it will appeal to a wide audience. Courtesy of Curious Distribution, I have some double passes to give away so if you’d like a double pass, please comment here and I’ll send the first five people a pass. Please note that you need to live near one of the cinemas mentioned above and can attend the film while it’s running. Please let me know what you think!
14 Comments for this entry
Kelly AzumaMay 13th, 2012 on 7:28 pm
Thanks for posting about this, it looks like it would be a great movie!! I’m so excited about it because I’ve heard about Jiro before, he’s pretty famous!!
May 16th, 2012 on 3:21 pm
Hi Monica, did you receive my email? I didn’t receive anything in the post so thought you might not have got it. :)
May 20th, 2012 on 9:16 pm
Hi Monica, thanks so much! I went and saw the movie with my mum on Saturday, it was awesome!! We both really loved the movie…but it did make me miss Japan a lot! And I really wanted to go eat some sushi afterwards too!!! :)
May 14th, 2012 on 10:34 am
I am hoping, crossing fingers and steaming the rice in anticipation!!
May 14th, 2012 on 11:14 am
I have been looking forward to seeing this when I first heard about it. I went to Japan in 2010 and I loved it, this film is gonna bring back a lot of memories.
SanjeevMay 14th, 2012 on 12:05 pm
Any passes left? I would LOVE to see this
May 15th, 2012 on 8:06 pm
Can i please have a pass :D