Yu Araki

IndieLisboa 2021 •

Japan, Documentary, 2020, 16′

An atmospheric documentary about the routine of Shizuko Nakajima, a veteran chef in one of Japan’s oldest robata-yaki restaurants (culinary style similar to barbecue). What sets this apart from other common grill practices is the use of a communal fireplace.

Yu Araki has been analysing Japanese traditions, their historical weight and the phenomenon of orientalism. Food interests him: the poetics of seafood (Bivalvia), the unfolding semiotics of the octopus (Wrong Revision) and the global echoes of Robatayaki (Fuel). In this last one, he portrays a centuries-old practice in which we journey from the singularity of an industrious artisan to a TV screen where the fast-moving world parades: slow cooking made into slow cinema, against restlessness. (Ricardo Vieira Lisboa)