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April 26, 2005

Black Sushi, 2003

blacksushi.gifA newly paroled Zulu man named Zama walks out of prison and into a waiting car driven by his best friend and former accomplice, Respect, who immediately recruits him as a hired muscle for a planned heist. Eager to rebuild his life and make a clean break from his criminal past, Zama walks away from his friend and into a sushi bar to inquire about a help wanted sign posted on the store window. Working in the backroom as the restaurant's dishwasher and janitor, Zama is intrigued by the sushi chef, Mi's skill and presentation and asks the skeptical proprietor to teach him his trade. However, when Mi expresses his skepticism on Zama's worthiness to become his apprentice, the disillusioned young man begins to fall back into his familiar, self-destructive routines. Whimsical and lighthearted, Black Sushi is a clever and engaging parable on perseverance, rehabilitation, and enlightenment. In the film's climactic episode, Zama peels the layers of gluten paste that have coated his hands at work, symbolically sloughing off the coarse, hardened skin that represents (and has bounded him to) his past, transforming them into delicate instruments necessary for his new found craft. It is in this image of transformation and tabula rasa that filmmaker Dean Blumberg allegorically reflects the image of new South Africa, a nation moving forward from its grievous history through atonement, creativity, hard work, open-mindedness, and cross-cultural respect.

Posted by acquarello on Apr 26, 2005 | | Filed under 2005, New York African Film Festival


I saw this film a few years ago and found it to be excellent. I would like to work with the filmmaker on a new project. If anyone knows how to reach him, please ask him to contact me.

Art Thomas
+ 1 303 326 0088

Posted by: Art Thomas on Apr 12, 2008 8:51 PM | Permalink

hahaha!!!! watched this film at school pretty amazing indeed!

Posted by: olwethu on Jun 12, 2011 1:29 PM | Permalink

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