JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI (Closing Night Film)

David Gelb / USA / 2011 / 81 min / Japanese with English subtitles / color / 35mm


Official Selection, 2011 Berlin International Film Festival
Official Selection, 2011 Tribeca Film Festival

Sukiyabashi Jiro must be the smallest 3-star Michelin restaurant in the world. A basement eatery in Ginza Tokyo with 10 stools, no credit cards accepted and no printed menu. It doesn’t look like a gourmet destination. Yet filmmaker David Gelb chose its 85-year old master sushi chef Jiro Ono as the subject of his mouthwatering documentary JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI.

Profiling all aspects of the craft, from picking out tuna at the fish market auctions to proper techniques of massaging an octopus, Gelb explores the Japanese tradition of shokunin kishitsu, or, artisan’s spirit. It is a highly disciplined way of life inspired by passion and dedication to one’s craft. Jiro’s methods require years of practice and can take his apprentices nearly a decade of repetitious practice to win his approval. His customers can taste the difference, right down to the rice, which even Gelb has claimed in interviews is unrivaled.

The film celebrates the art of sushi but also centers itself upon the importance of family, tradition and hard work. Gelb reveals the complicated relationship between Jiro and his two sons Takashi and Yoshikazu, one of which will inherit his father’s legacy and carry on the family business.

The film’s score is a combination of classical selections from Mozart and Bach and modern orchestral pieces by Philip Glass and Max Richter who are known for their minimal and repetitive qualities which beautifully complement Jiro’s methods. Poignant and inspiring, JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI provides an intimate view into the world of a genius and innovator, a film as perfect as the dishes that Jiro creates. – Mye Hoang

Director David Gelb and Producer Kevin Iwashina are scheduled to attend.

Co-presented by: Japan Society of San Diego and Tijuana, Japanese American Historical Society of San Diego, Lighthouse Magazine, San Diego Japanese American Citizens League, San Diego Yu Yu, USD Center for Inclusion and Diversity


  • Director: David Gelb
  • Producer: Kevin Iwashina


October 28, 2011 7:00 pm
Mission Valley UltraStar Cinemas

October 28, 2011 9:20 pm
Mission Valley UltraStar Cinemas