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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Jiro Dreams of Dreams of Sushi - review (2011)

A documentary about sushi that is about so much more than sushi.  The film focuses on Jiro Ono an 85 year-old master sushi maker, whose life is so focused around the culinary delight that he dreams of it.  Over the years his efforts have paid off - his sushi is world renowned.  To get reservations you need to book a month in advance.  His restaurant follows his philosophy (and he offers quite a bit of philosophizing) that is it important to be the best at one thing and focus on it, so much so that sushi is all he serves - no appetizers, no desserts, no blooming onions, just sushi.  Watching this artist work at his life's passion and listening to him describe the how even after decades of trying to perfect his craft he continues to strive to improve it is inspiring.  While doing so he passes down little tidbits of wisdom to the audience and his two sons (both looking to be his successor) that can be applicable for anyone, not just sushi makers.

The delightfully direct Jiro is enough to keep you entertained for the short 82 minute run time, but there is much more to the film; it offers an insight into the restaurant business, a sibling rivalry, a look at Japanese culture and other subtexts that flesh it out.  If any of the above interest you or if you are just interested in sushi check the film out, just don't do so on an empty stomach, the shot after shot of perfectly prepared sushi may be too much to handle.

7.5 out of 10

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