Yesterday, I watched this amazing documentary and it left me deeply impressed and craving for some raw fish!
Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a documentary directed by David Gelb and is focused on the 85 year old, world renown sushi chef and restaurant owner Jiro Ono. It’s completely in Japanese with English subtitles.
To be honest, I wasn’t exactly sure what this movie was about. All I knew is that sushi is one of my favorite foods, I find Japanese culture very interesting, and that Tokyo, Japan is on my lists of places I need to visit at least once in my life.
I think I was expecting some sort of biographical pictorial, and in a way this documentary was a biography, but it was also so much more. Some parts of it focus on Jiro’s journey to what he has become, including aspects of his childhood and a heartwarming and cute scene of a reunion of him with his childhood friends. In today’s fast-paced and transient society, it’s hard to form bonds as strong as those between neighborhood friends of 80 years ago. I know even my grandparents make efforts to reconnect with their childhood friends but for me, I barely remember the names of my Kindergarten classmates.
Another focus was on Jiro’s two sons, the older one who is to inherit the restaurant and he younger one who has opened a lower-class mirror of his father’s restaurant. The interaction between the family members and the relationship between father and sons really says something about the family system and structure of Japanese society.
Lastly and what I was looking forward to the most in the documentary was the emphasis on the creation and artistry behind making and serving sushi. Jiro is definitely one of a kind in his skill, expertise, and dedication to the trade. It’s almost like a science to him, as he follows a strict routine to both his life and sushi making. He will not serve anything that does not satisfy his expectations and pays close attention to every detail of the process, even down to the size of the sushi piece in relation to the customer who is being served. His attention to detail was very inspiring!
The documentary’s highest point was its cinematography. Each image was breathtaking and mouthwatering. And I was a huge fan of its romantic/classical music soundtrack. There’s not really any way to explain the images in words so here are a few moving gifs to help explain my point.
Doesn’t it make you want to eat sushi? I need to get to Masamoto’s ASAP. Masamoto’s is my favorite sushi restaurant near my house. Never mind that, someone fly me to Japan!
Overall, this was an amazing documentary. I cannot say it enough. If you are at all interested in food or Japan, I really recommend it. And maybe if you’re looking for something inspiring to help you find your motivation to reach your goals, this will help too. And what’s even greater is that it’s available for Netflix subscribers. A free, great movie – a must watch!