Opening 7 Jun 2012
Bravo to director Mark S. Hall for calling a potential environmental problem to our attention. Who would have thought that a simple, inexpensive dish made of fish and rice and sold on the streets of Japan would now, 30 years later, explode into a gourmet dish served all over the world. Perhaps we should have predicted it. Sushi is, after all, quite delicious, variable, and low in calories. However, to satisfy the world-wide appetites, fish, specifically the blue fin tuna, are disappearing from the sea.
The film is divided into a short history, an explanation of the long apprenticeship necessary to become a recognized sushi chef, the work practices of Japanese fishermen as well as others for catching fish, fish farms off the coast of Australia, and the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo (where one fish can bring $400,000 and specialists can judge the quality of a fish in 17 seconds). Director Hall takes us to Tokyo, Poland, Austin Texas, San Francisco California, Beijing, etc. Especially interesting to me were: the historical references to the Samurai, the Tataki environmentally friendly (with substitute fish) sushi restaurant in San Francisco, Mamoru Sugiyama and his sushi restaurant which he runs in the fourth generation, and Kazuo Nozaki, whose family made swords 400 years ago and now makes Aritsugu knives for slicing fish. For more information see www.seafoodwatch.org or www.tunaresearch.org. Better yet, see this excellent and informative film. (Becky Tan)