One evening in the mid-sixties, Rolf Anschütz, a chef who runs a small restaurant in a town called Suhl in the middle of the East German province of Thuringen offers his guests a unique and...
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One evening in the mid-sixties, Rolf Anschütz, a chef who runs a small restaurant in a town called Suhl in the middle of the East German province of Thuringen offers his guests a unique and exotic meal - Japanese Sukiyaki. It was intent to be a surprise for some of his best customers and it became a great success. Even the local paper wrote about it - and this should change the life of Rolf Anschütz forever. A couple of days after the "event" a real Japanese turned up at the restaurant and demanded the same meal again. From this moment there was no way back. The Japanese loved Rolf Anschütz cooking and his restaurant "Der Waffenschmied" (Gunsmith) soon was honored as the place which offered the best and most authentic Japanese cuisine outside Japan. In the shortest time the Japanese have accepted Rolf Anschütz as one theirs. They celebrate the Authenzität of his kitchen and the "original" Japanese washing rituals before the meals would be served. First diplomats, later Japanese ... Written by
This movie is based on the fascinating real story of Rolf Anschütz, an enterprising cook who managed to successfully run a Japanese restaurant in the backwaters of 1970ies East Germany. You have to consider that it required extensive networking to get hold even of a can of tinned pineapples behind the iron curtain. Other than suggested by the movie title, I'm not sure that this restaurant even served Sushi, which at the time was an obscure delicacy in most necks of the wodd outside of Japan.
With an interesting premise and great actors, the movie falters because of its generic script and has trouble filling its running time. The East German bureaucrats are initially reluctant to support the courageous plan, but quickly change their minds due to the "peaceful contest between nations", and because Anschütz-san's carp-and-rice concoctions sell like, erm, hot buns. It's an OK movie to watch, but Anschütz's culinary endeavours often feel like some sort of carnival, like a dystopic game of cowboys and Indians. This is more plain potatoes rather than sumptuous Sushi.
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