East Side Sushi

2014

Drama

0
IMDb Rating 7.1 10 3532

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
March 27, 2021 at 09:15 AM

720p.WEB
976.07 MB
1280*714
English 2.0
PG
23.976 fps
1 hr 46 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by MartinHafer 9 / 10

I love film like this, as they are about REAL people with real problems.

I noticed some time ago that some of my very favorite films are about food--perhaps it's because I love to cook. Off the top of my head, I can quickly think of some real classic foodie movies, such as "Babette's Feast", "Mostly Martha", "The Big Night" and "The Hundred-Foot Journey". I might want to a new film to this list-- "East Side Sushi". Unfortunately, this film is not yet scheduled for a nation-wide release, but there are going to be some limited engagements in California theaters starting September 18th--most likely because the audiences there have a large concentration of Hispanic-Americans (and the leading character is a Mexican- American). I sure hope it comes to other markets, as this film by Anthony Lucero is a little gem.

Juana (Diana Elizabeth Torres) is a brilliant cook. But she and her father are struggling to raise her daughter. Their pay is meager and her job selling fruit on the streets has become rather dangerous. On a lark, she decides to go to work at a local Japanese restaurant instead of doing her usual Mexican-style cooking. Here at the restaurant, she does a lot of the prep-work--and the sushi chefs do the actual sushi work. But she is fascinated by their work and soon realizes that sushi is delicious...and so, with only a little bit of help to get her started, she teaches herself how to make sushi. After a year of practice on her family, Juana is quite accomplished and is ready to make the leap in the restaurant from prep work to sushi...but there is a problem. Mexican-Americans do NOT work in sushi bars and everyone KNOWS that only Japanese men can excel in this art..right?! Well, Juana is determined...and conventional wisdom may not be right after all.

So why did I like this film so much? Well, the biggest reason is that the film is about people. Because of the wonderful performances and nice direction, you can believe that Juana is a real person--not just a plot device. You feel for her, you see her struggle, you like her and want her to succeed. I like movies about people and their everyday lives--and this one really works for me. I also appreciate that many times I expected things to happen one way in the movie but the writer (also Lucero) chose to avoid these clichés and formula--so it kept me guessing. Overall, this is a lovely little film--one that left me a bit hungry for more.

Reviewed by steven-leibson 9 / 10

Hard to see how this fresh take on the chef/food genre could be done better

Stop me if you've heard this before: aspiring chef wants to make it to the top. Sure, we've seen those films. Now stop me if you've heard this one: aspiring Latina wants to become a top sushi chef. Wrong race. Wrong gender. Ambitious goal. Lead actor Diana Elizabeth Torres delivers an outstanding performance as Juana, the barrio fruit cart vendor who aspires to better things.

Walking by a sushi restaurant one day, she spies the food and marvels at the look of the food. After all, for sushi the look is as important as the taste and the mouth feel. It's an edible art form unlike the rolled burritos and fried tacos she's used to making.

Juana also spies a help-wanted sign in the window of the sushi restaurant and gets a back-kitchen position. However, she dreams of making sushi out in front behind the sushi counter. The movie's story is all about her efforts to get there despite many obstacles at the restaurant and at home.

This is a very inspiring film of grit and determination. If it were a western, Juana would be wielding a gun and a Bowie knife. Instead, it's a sushi knife.

Do yourself a favor and go see this film. It was filmed in Oakland on a shoestring budget by an indie filmmaking company and writer-director Anthony Lucero but I think it's as good as anything you'll see from Hollywood.

Reviewed by jen-lynx 8 / 10

A fun indie film about food and culture

Oakland, California is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the U.S. Over 100 different languages are spoken in the region. In "East Side Sushi", we see two of those cultures collide in the most time honored tradition, over food.

Juana Martinez, a single mom, and her father run a fresh fruit cart, a staple in Hispanic street food, that is when they aren't working their other jobs. Urban life has its drawbacks and when Juana gets robbed, she decides a change is needed. She takes a chance and answers a help wanted sign in a Japanese restaurant. She lands the job, discovers the passion of sushi, and sets out to become a sushi chef herself. As a Hispanic woman, this proves to be a more a difficult task than one might presume.

"East Side Sushi" is a feel good story, at times hilariously funny, made on a shoestring budget, and as such has no money for advertising campaigns. Relying on word of mouth, it is finally being released in theaters, at least in California. If you like food, particularly Mexican and/or Japanese, if you live in or near Oakland, CA or just like urban themed dramas, or if you like good independent cinema, then I recommend this film. It is not a perfect film, sometimes feeling a little forced and a couple of scenes seem unlikely, but it has great pacing, some wonderful characters, a fun sense of humor and really brings out the beauty of the city across the bay.

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