The Birth of Saké

Culinary Cinema

SIFF Says:

With as close an attention to detail as the saké-making process itself, this documentary on the creation of Japan’s oldest liquor is an absorbing behind the scenes look at an ancient tradition. The Yoshida Brewery is a small, family-owned establishment that has been making saké for 144 years. From October to April a small team of brewers, ranging in age but all with a shared love for the drink, leave behind their families and live communally at the brewery in order to tend the sake 24/7. Such a commitment is awe-inspiring, and reflective of their obvious passion. Many breweries have moved to automatic and machine-run ways of creating this beloved beverage, and the Yoshida Brewery is one of the only ones left that follow the handmade, tried and true, time-consuming way. Yet saké’s popularity has gone down in recent years, as a result of a younger generation shying away from its stiff taste. This documentary, filmed in a gorgeously cinematic way, explores not only the creation of the alcohol and the artisans behind it, but the conflicts and difficulties this field face every day.

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Film Credits
Erik Shirai
Yamamoto Toji, Yasuyuki Yoshida
SIFF 2015