Premiering Monday, December 23, 2013 on Independent Lens. Check your local listings.
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 3 star Michelin review, and sushi lovers from around the globe make repeated pilgrimage, calling months in advance and shelling out top dollar for a coveted seat at Jiro’s sushi bar.
For most of his life, Jiro has been mastering the art of making sushi, but even at his age he sees himself still striving for perfection, working from sunrise to beyond sunset to taste every piece of fish, meticulously training his employees, and carefully molding and finessing the impeccable presentation of each sushi creation. 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.
The feature film debut of director David Gelb, Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a thoughtful and elegant meditation on work, family, and the art of perfection, chronicling Jiro’s life as both an unparalleled success in the culinary world, and a loving yet complicated father.
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Meet the Filmmaker
Originally from New York City, David Gelb currently works and lives in Los Angeles. After graduating from USC's film production program, David worked on various music videos, short films, and documentaries. Most notably, he directed A Vision of Blindness, an extensive behind the scenes look at Fernando Meirelles's film Blindness, which enjoyed a run on the Sundance Channel. David has been a sushi aficionado since his childhood. Jiro Dreams of Sushi is his first full-length feature film.
Explore Chef Jiro's World
Explore the elements in Jiro's world to learn more about sushi and the art of the shokunin, the Japanese master sushi chef. From the different types of tuna to the importance of perfect rice, let Jiro be your guide in this interactive, illustrated feature.
Take Our Sushi Quiz
How sushi-savvy are you? Do you know your sashimi from your nori? Test your knowledge of the art of the shokunin in this challenging quiz inspired by documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi.