DIRECTOR: Erik Shirai
A Tasmanian fermentation expert will discuss the making of sakes, miso and other fermented products after the screening.
JAPAN / 2016
SATURDAY 1 MAY 10.00AM
SATURDAY 29 MAY 10.00AM
RUNNING TIME: 90 MINS
The brewery will always be where I feel most at peace
Founded in 1870 in the Hokuriku region, the Yoshida Brewery has been producing fine rice wine (sake) for six generations. In this utterly absorbing film, director Erik Shirai spends six months cataloguing the delicate processes and artisanal skills needed to turn rice into Japan’s most famous drink. Backed by a gently hypnotic score from Ken Kaizu, Shirai uses beautifully framed, carefully considered shots to let the workers introduce their craft, giving a gently introspective documentary mood.
The film examines the complete dedication of the workers as they toil from before dawn to after dark in freezing conditions, sometimes working away from their families for months, all to create the perfect brew. It highlights the almost ritual focus of the workers as they balance heat, agitation, moisture and yeast to achieve the perfect balance of flavour, fragrance and alcohol. Despite being set in one of the most economically advanced countries on earth, this sympathetic wonder of a film is a genuine homage to the skills, the taste, sight, touch and smell that ensure Yoshida Brewery‘s ongoing quality.