This remarkable documentary tells the story of Jiro Ono, a master sushi chef in Tokyo. Jiro is 85 years old and has been making sushi for 75 years. Despite a hardscrabble childhood, he has risen to be the owner and chef of a Michelin three star restaurant.
Jiro’s attention to every detail of sushi preparation and his rigorous training of apprentices is explored throughout this film. We also watch as Jiro visits his hometown, meeting with old friends and, quite poignantly, visiting the graves of his parents. When he notes that the flowers at the grave are dead, he also comments that his parents never took care of him.
I was fortunate enough to view this film at a screening at the Tribeca Film Festival. Director David Gelb was present, along with one of the producers of the film. After the screening, Gelb answered questions from the audience. The more significant questions of course referred to the recent tragic events in Japan. Tourism and celebrating in general have been affected, so business at Sukiyabashi Jiro has been affected as well.
This film is very well made in a quiet and understated manner. It has reportedly been acquired by Magnolia Pictures and hopefully this will lead to wider distribution. If you have an opportunity to see Jiro Dreams of Sushi, go for it!