The Nevada City Film Festival and Magic Lantern Film Society presents “Jiro Dreams of Sushi,” Monday at The Magic Theatre in Nevada City, followed by a special question-and-answer session with master sushi chef Kaoru “RU” Suzuki, owner of Sushi in the Raw. This one-night only event is part of the monthly Food & Film Series, now in its second year.
“Jiro Dreams of Sushi” is the story of 85-year-old Jiro Ono, considered by many to be the world’s greatest sushi chef. He is the proprietor of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a 10-seat, sushi-only restaurant inauspiciously located in a Tokyo subway station. Despite its humble appearances, it is the first restaurant of its kind to be awarded a prestigious three-star Michelin review, and sushi lovers from around the globe make repeated pilgrimages, calling months in advance and shelling out top dollar for a coveted seat at Jiro’s sushi bar. At the heart of this story is Jiro’s relationship with his eldest son Yoshikazu, the worthy heir to Jiro’s legacy, who is unable to live up to his full potential in his father’s shadow.
“‘Jiro Dreams of Sushi’ isn’t just a film for foodies or Japanophiles. It’s a meditation on work, on finding one’s path in life, and then walking it with singular purpose,” wrote the Philadelphia Inquirer. Director David Gelb had planned to make what he had nicknamed “Planet Sushi,” inspired by the cinematography of the BBC documentary Planet Earth.
“Originally, I was going to make a film with a lot of different sushi chefs who all had different styles, but when I got to Jiro’s restaurant, I was not only amazed by how good the sushi was and how much greater it was than any other sushi restaurant I had ever been to, but I also found Jiro to be such a compelling character and such an interesting person,” he said. “I was also fascinated by the story of his son, who is 50 years old, but still works for his father at the restaurant. So, I thought, “Here’s a story about a person living in his father’s shadow while his father is in a relentless pursuit of perfection.”
It was the makings of a good feature film.”
“Jiro Dreams of Sushi” also features music from Phillip Glass, one of the most influential composers of the late 20th century. Following the film, attendees will be treated to an intimate Q&A with master sushi chef Kaoru “RU” Suzuki, owner of Sushi in the Raw, on Spring Street in Nevada City. Learn about the culture and history behind today’s popular Japanese cooking, the different kinds of fish used, what it takes to become a sushi chef, tips on how to make sushi at home, and maybe even what is in some of Sushi in the Raw’s secret sauces.
Tickets for the Monday event are $8 for members of the Magic Lantern Film Society and $10 for non-members. They are available for purchase at the Magic Theatre or by phone at 530-362-8601. Seating is limited.
For information, go to http://magiclanternfilmsociety.org.