Watched this on Netflix last night. It's leaving Netflix this month, so I've been meaning to check it out.
I've dabbled in making sushi before, so it was fun to see how a professional does it. But what makes this documentary truly fascinating is to see what a perfectionist is like in motion. The guy thinks sushi, he lives sushi. He'll be making sushi until he dies, then one of his sons can fight over who takes over the restaurant.
If you've ever tried to make something before, I'm sure you'll see a bit of the process in Jirou's work. The gradual improvement of the process. The frustrations and disappointments in your work in the beginning. The self discipline that you force upon yourself. The sacrifices you make for your work.
I guess sacrifice is the big theme in Jirou's Dream. He makes some of the best sushi in Japan (three stars from Michelin), but he does so at the sacrifice of every other aspect of his life. He even admits that he was a crummy dad who rarely saw his kids growing up. We never find out what happens to his wife. It's just not an important aspect to the documentary or his life.
If you just like food, you'll get to see the crazy sea market in Japan. The militaristicly run cooking process. One apprentice cooked egg sushi for two months before getting one approved (about 200 failures). He cried when he finally got it right. But at the same time, it's cool to see how the food is prepared. I don't know how to cook well, so it's fun to see other people do it on such an advanced level.