By Mihran Kalaydjian, CHAConsultant, Strategist, and Writer
A few weeks ago I recommended what I the best documentary on Netflix in Indie Game: the Movie. If Indie Game: the Movie is #1, this next documentary you must watch is #1A. When scrolling through the documentaries on Netflix, this documentary will rarely ever standout. It actually has an awkward title image that can turn viewers away, I passed it over many many times.
But looking past the odd cover (the text on it seems like it could be from a Pixar movie) is a unique, quaint, and inspiring documentary waiting to be watched. Jiro Dreams of Sushi is the story behind an 85 year-old sushi genious and the background behind his business. This documentary is more than just a compelling story about an extremely unique restaurant (which only seats 10, yet is booked months and months in advance), there is a bit of drama in it as well. Without spoiling that storyline within the documentary, there is a bit of controlled drama around who will take over the restaurant when Jiro passes on.
Whether you have an interest in Sushi or not (but if you do like sushi, you will LOVE this movie) there are many reasons why this documentary is worth a weekend-watch.
1. Observing A True Master
When we think of masters of profession, we think of athletes, moguls, and possibly actors. To observe a true master of something as seemingly simple as making sushi is something you wouldn’t think to be remarkable, but it is.
Learning about the preparation behind Jiro’s magical creations is something you will never forget. So much pride is taken in the smallest of details surrounding his restaurant. Jiro literally makes you want to go to Japan, just to experience what he creates. Rarely do people ever become true masters of a skill or profession, but Jiro is one of these rare living legends. When it comes to his craft, Jiro is second to no one.
Everything about this documentary is authentic, sometimes gritty, and always real. There are many memorable scenes where some of the magic behind Jiro’s sushi is revealed.
Some of the best moments in the documentary come when you least expect it. Whether it is finding out where Jiro’s true satisfaction comes from, or how he treats his employees, nothing about this documentary is glossed over, or polished. When you are finished watching this documentary, you feel as if you have experienced a small slice of Tokyo, just as Jiro would want you to have.
3. Get A Shot of Inspiration
The unfolding of how one person dedicates his life to one task his entire life is damned inspiring. Along with that is seeing how his success comes about not through how much money he makes (which is a lot) but through the opinions of his customers. Jiro’s obsession with being the best sushi-chef is real, and it will inspire you in a unique way. His dedication to his craft is unlike anything you will ever see, nor will ever see again in a documentary.
When it is all set and done some people will look at this documentary as nothing more than a film about sushi, but it’s way more than that. Instead of skimming through Netflix for 20 minutes tonight trying to find the perfect movie, sit down and spend 80 minutes with Jiro Dreams of Sushi. You’ll enjoy the ride, just don’t blame me when you want to travel to Tokyo just to try Jiro’s sushi for yourself!