Jiro Dreams of Sushi


Internet Movie Database          Movie Reviews

A documentary about the man who is the best sushi maker in the world.

Now, I have to disclose something here. Even though I am an otter…I hate seafood. All kinds of seafood. Even whatever kind of delicious seafood has just popped into your mind and you thought, oh, she may THINK she hates seafood, but she’d like this.

Let me assure you, I wouldn’t. I’ve tried a whole lot of kinds and I know whereof I speak: I hate seafood.

I’m also not fond of Japanese cuisine. I’ve tried it, from fast food all the way up to really expensive restaurants, and even without seafood, I don’t find it to be very exciting. I like wasabe a lot (because this otter loves horseradish) and teriyaki is okay. I’ll eat noodles, and I don’t mind tempura, depending on what there is to dip it in. But given my choice of restaurants, I will never willingly go to a Japanese one again; there are just too many kinds of food I really like, why do that?

And you can guess how I feel about sushi. Especially since along with hating seafood, I can’t even stand the SMELL of seaweed. I’m a Teen Librarian, and last summer I had the Culinary Dude come to my library and do a sushi workshop for teens. He used vegetarian chicken (which was better tasting than I thought it would be) but otherwise taught them how to cut the veggies and ‘meat’, roll it up with rice in a seaweed square, and cut slices to make real sushi.

And the smell of the seaweed was HORRIBLE. By the end of the program, it was all I could do not to run from the room looking for fresh air.

So why did I watch this movie? About a guy who spends his life, and lovingly details, making something I would probably not willingly be in the room with, much less put into my own mouth?

Because I’m an extravert, and one who is very interested in other people. And one of the things I love most is hearing people talk about things they love, that they are passionate about.

This movie is about a guy who is (at that time) in his 80s. He has done one thing his whole life, and is THE BEST IN THE WORLD at it. And he still loves it.

How could I not enjoy this movie?

The movie itself is in Japanese, I watched it with English subtitles. It was really interesting, not only for the details of how sushi is made and how his restaurant works (I love finding out how things are done and made) but also because he had two sons, one of whom is following him at his sushi restaurant, and the other has opened his own place nearby. Imagine being the oldest son of someone who is the best in the world at what they do, and working for/with/under him, and knowing that even if you are ever as good as he is at what you’re doing, nobody will ever think so.

This was a fascinating and well-made movie, full of great interviews and details, and brilliantly cut; they must have taken hundreds of hours of footage, but this movie is just under 90 minutes. A perfect gem, and well worth watching. People are just amazing.

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