- Director: LI Ying
2003 Japanese, Chinese Subtitled in English Color 35mm 134 min
Production Company: Dragon Films
Producer: ISOBE Nobuo, OKAZAKI Tai, ZHANG Yi, TATEISHI Atsushi
Photography: HOTTA Yasuhiro (J.S.C.)
Editing: LI Ying, MIYACHIKA Shigenori
Sound: UTSUMI Hiroyoshi
Contact: Dragon Films Inc.
25th Kyutei Bldg. 805, 3-13-22 Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-0051 JAPAN
[Festivals and prizes] Berlin Forum 2003, Thessaloniki Doc 2003, Hong Kong 2003, NY Tribeca 2003, Seattle 2003, Marseilles Doc 2003, and others
[Synopsis] Elderly Japanese chef couple confront a changing China in the world of cooking.
The Satos run a small Chinese restaurant in Tokyo. Born in 1925, Hatsue was trained in traditional Shandong cooking, a cuisine largely destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. The Satos are recognized as masters of Shandong cuisine by the Chinese government, and they are invited to China every year to teach the cuisine to local chefs. While Hatsue deides she wants to devote the last years of her life to reestablish “true” Shandong cuisine in its birthplace, cooking circles in China are responding to the age of rapid economic growth, where new methods and tastes are emerging in quick succession. The Satos also find that with old age, their physical stamina is not what it once was. Originally produced for NHK television, the film version is a lengthier director’s cut.
Born in 1963. Began directing documenary films for China Central Television (CCTV) in 1984. Moved to Japan in 1989. In 1993, co-founded Dragon Films Inc. to produce TV programs and feature films. Filmography includes: 2H (1999), Flying Flying (2000), Chinese Stardust—Beijing Film Academy: A Tale of Dreams (2001, Hoso-Bunka Foundation Prize, ATP Outstanding Documentary Prize).