It’s fascinating to witness not only Jiro’s pathological dedication to his craft, his staff’s dedication to quality and obsession with perfection, present in every meal they serve, but his relationships with others — his staff, his suppliers, and his family. It really captures the sacrifice that goes into pursuing perfection.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a documentary film directed by David Gelb.
Genre: Documentary Produced by: Kevin Iwashina, Tom Pellegrini Network: Netflix Directed By: David Gelb Runtime: 81 minutes Distributed by: Magnolia Pictures
The film follows Jiro Ono (小野 二郎, Ono Jirō), an 85-year-old sushi master and owner of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a 10-seat Michelin three-star restaurant despite its humble appearances, considered by many to be the world's greatest sushi chef.
Sushi lovers from around the globe make repeated pilgrimage, calling months in advance and shelling out top dollar for a coveted seat at this sushi-only restaurant located in a Tokyo subway station. Jiro Ono serves a tasting menu of roughly 20 courses, for a minimum of ¥30,000 (US$270).
At the heart of this story is Jiro's relationship with Jiro's two sons, both of whom are also sushi chefs. The younger son, Takashi (隆士), left Sukiyabashi Jiro to open a mirror image of his father's restaurant in Roppongi Hills. The 50-year-old elder son, Yoshikazu (禎一), the worthy heir to Jiro's legacy, who is unable to live up to his full potential in his father's shadow.
"While watching it, I found myself drawn into the mystery of this man. Are there any unrealized wishes in his life? Secret diversions? Regrets? If you find an occupation you love and spend your entire life working at it, is that enough? Standing behind his counter, Jiro notices things. Some customers are left-handed, some right-handed. That helps determine where they are seated at his counter. As he serves a perfect piece of sushi, he observes it being eaten. He knows the history of that piece of seafood. He knows his staff has recently started massaging an octopus for 45 minutes and not half an hour, for example. Does he search a customer's eyes for a signal that this change has been an improvement? Half an hour of massage was good enough to win three Michelin stars. You realize the tragedy of Jiro Ono's life is that there are not, and will never be, four stars." Roger Ebert, an American film critic, historian, journalist, screenwriter, and author. The first film critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, called it a "portrait of tunnel vision".