Sushi in Suhl (2012) Poster


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Thüringer Allerlei
Karl Self9 December 2013
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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The story deserves way better
Horst_In_Translation17 February 2018
Warning: Spoilers
"Sushi in Suhl" is a German historic movie from 2012, so this one is already over 5 years old and you may have come across the names of director Fiebeler and especially writer Otto on other projects already as both are fairly prolific and successful and have been for a while. Their 1.5-hour film here is based on real events as it shows us how a little restaurant in the GDR makes the most unusual turn when people realize how talented the chef is when it comes to (traditional) Asian cuisine. This is the key of the story, but they added several sub-plots here that sadly did very little for me and I would have preferred better focus on the story in the center of it all instead of making generic dramedy stuff. This is especially because the film is based on real events and if it does not make an impact with regards to them, then at least it can shed some light and attention on the fate of Rolf Anschütz, so it wasn't for nothing that this film was made. Oh well, maybe I am a bit too harsh here and it is not a failure, watchable at times and on very rare occasions also entertaining, but it simply is not enough for me to give it a positive recommendation. The cast of this award-nominated film does not include any big name actors. Even German film buffs will hardly recognize a name here, which is fairly rare, even for lesser known German-language movies. The names Klink (stunning as always) and Richter, maybe Tramitz with his little screen time too, are probably still the "biggest" names the movie has to offer and the lead actor was completely unknown to me. The acting probably wasn't the biggest problem here, rather that the film lost itself on too many occasions in wishy washy plot points and the sad consequence is that he missed out on turning a pretty interesting story into a film that could have been among the very from its year and what's even sadder is that this will most likely stay the only shot at the story for decades, if not for eternity. The quality overall here is on par with the not so amazing title for this project. It's not a foul fish, but one where you don't feel any need to return to the restaurant again any time soon. I give it a thumbs-down. Don't watch.
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