East Side Sushi
Our next Rialto Recommends is both a charming indie and a food movie. EAST SIDE SUSHI (2015) introduces us to Juana, a working-class Latina single mother. Forced to give up her fruit-vending cart in order to find a more secure job, Juana lands a position as a kitchen assistant at a local Japanese restaurant and discovers a whole new world of cuisine and culture, as well as a new friend. While working in the restaurant's kitchen, Juana secretly observes the sushi chefs and eventually teaches herself to make a multitude of sushi. Her creativity sparked, Juana's re-ignited passion for food drives her to want more from her job and her life. 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. The San Jose Mercury News said "A rather humanist tone infuses "East Side Sushi," offering a sense of hope as characters choose to come together rather than be pulled apart." While the Hollywood Reporter raved "Endearing performances, accomplished low-budget filmmaking and a distinctive urban setting all add up to an appetizing offering." EAST SIDE SUSHI is streaming on Amazon, Roku, Hoopla, Vudu, Kanopy, and PlutoTV HERE. It is available to rent for a modes fee from Vudu, GooglePlay, Apple, YouTube, DirectTV, and Amazon.