East Side Sushi
A single mother working to support her daughter and aging father, Juana Martinez has only ever worked for the sole purpose of feeding her family — that is, until she finds a job in the kitchen of Osaka, a neighborhood sushi restaurant. Juana’s quickly growing interest in sushi does not go unnoticed by Aki, the lead sushi chef, who begins teaching her the basics of sushi preparation. However, Juana is quickly met with opposition that makes it very clear that she does not fit the conventional model of a sushi chef — male and Japanese.
EAST SIDE SUSHI is a multidimensional perspective on the melting pot nature of the US with an entirely grassroots cast hailing from all around the Bay Area. Director Anthony Lucero unapologetically deconstructs the idea of the “authenticity” of food by imposing a multicultural and gendered perspective on “ethnic” foods like sushi. At face value, EAST SIDE SUSHI is a bittersweet story of a dream-chasing underdog, but hiding just beneath the surface is a conversation on sushi as a globalized phenomenon.