Summary: Jiro Ono owns Sukiyabashi Jiro, a small sushi restaurant renowned worldwide, situated in the basement of an office building in Tokyo, Japan. There are only ten seats in the restaurant, yet it’s been rewarded with three Michelin stars, needs to be booked months in advance and costs 30,000 Japanese yen (around £190/$265) for a tasting menu. At the age of 85 years old, Jiro has achieved legendary sushi chef status and still works in his restaurant everyday, beside his eldest son Yoshikazu. Yoshikazu understands and feels the pressure of taking over from his father when he’ll pass away and tries to learn from him everyday before that time comes.
My Review: Although I realise the makers of this documentary are American, I still thought Jiro Dreams of Sushi could squeeze into the world cinema category and shouldn’t be missed from this blog. Another reason why it shouldn’t be missed is because of it being a truly fascinating watch. Director David Gelb admitted his initial intention was to make a film about a lot of different sushi restaurants and their different styles, yet when I visited Jiro’s restaurant he was amazed by how greater his sushi was to other sushi restaurants. What made the place all the more compelling? Jiro himself, who as Gelb describes is ‘relentless [in his] pursuit of perfection.’ Whether you’re a fan of sushi or not you can’t help but admire Jiro’s passion for his craft, or some might say art. Apprenticeships at Sukiyabashi Jiro endure for 10 years before they’re allowed onto the simplest of sushi dishes. An octopus has to be massaged for 50 mins before being prepared into a dish. Every dish is critiqued – yet Jiro is neither cutthroat or fierce and instead quietly masterful. A wondrous watch and a must-see for any Japanese culture vulture.
My Rating: 4/5
Do you know of any great world cinema documentaries? Let me know in the comments section below!