Single mom Juana can slice and dice anything with great speed and precision. After working at a fruit-vending cart for years, she decides to take a job at a local Japanese restaurant. ...
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Single mom Juana can slice and dice anything with great speed and precision. After working at a fruit-vending cart for years, she decides to take a job at a local Japanese restaurant. Intrigued by the food, she learns to make a multitude of sushi on her own. Eventually she attempts to become a sushi chef, but is unable to because she is the 'wrong' race and gender. Against all odds, she embarks on a journey of self-discovery, determined to not let anyone stop her from achieving her dream. Written by
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.
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