Reviewed by Alicia Glass
A documentary of the life and work of Sushi Master Jiro Ono, his restaurant Sukiyabashi Jiro, and his heir and son Yoshikazu.
You don’t have to be in love with sushi to enjoy the movie, but it would really help if you had a clear appreciation for the art and love of food preparation, and Sushi in particular. Jiro is a Sushi Master unparalleled, and delivers exquisite movements and sheer love for his craft, while he explains what he’s doing and the camera gives close-ups on his preparations. Each fish is selected from only the best market with the most precise care, the rice gets its own groups of special preparations, and the main tools of his craft, the body and mind but especially the hands, are cleaned and rendered ready with almost spiritual steadfastness.
Jiro has spent his life in the pursuit of Sushi perfection, and has passed this ideal on to his sons, who work at the restaurant with him. Some are reluctant, some are proud, but all agree – Jiro and his Sushi are unforgettable. The restaurant happens to be in a Tokyo business building basement, and yet the reservations pile up, and the patrons can make them up to a month away. Jiro and his declared heir Yoshikazu labor all day and night, to the suffrage of their own families and desires, to bring the very best Sushi with the most exquisite ingredients to their customers.
A fine movie that explores the lines that blur between perfection and obsession, love for family and love of ones art, the search for the epitome’ of the craft and what it leaves behind – Jiro Dreams of Sushi is the feature film debut of director David Gelb.