I’ve been finding myself lately being drawn to watching and reading about people that have committed their lives to the pursuit of one thing. Or one ideal. Whatever it may be, they’ve committed themselves to an idea that is larger than just their time on Earth and taken steps to practice that commitment. I’m not sure why I’m so drawn to that idea at the moment. I guess I’m just realising (again) that good things takes time, and mastering a skill over years is a pursuit worth living.
So, with this in mind, I’d like to share three films I’ve watched in the last few weeks that have this idea at their core.
1. Jiro Dreams of Sushi
I’ve actually been to the restaurant next door to this place, but never realised what I was close to when I was there last year. This film had me thinking a lot. My favourite thing about it is the dedication shown by Jiro’s two sons to follow in their fathers footsteps and how much effort they put in to keeping the bar as high for their apprentices as he did for them. Also, that they require their apprentices to serve for 10 years before actually doing any cooking! That certainly sets a high bar.
I watched this one tonight and found it really fun. It follows 4 guys who are trying to pass the Master Sommelier’s Diploma, which is the hardest and most prestigious title for Sommelier’s in the world. They’re just as dedicated as Jiro and his sons, but in a different way. There’s a time-bound tension for these four, because they need to pass the test at a given time. That creates an element of competition and ego, but by and large the focus is on how they can continue to progress themselves and learn more about their art.
3. Kiss the Water
This one was a different focus. It follows the life of Megan Boyd, who was a fishing fly maker. The film itself wasn’t as easy to watch as the other two, but the lessons perhaps deeper. I love the romanticism behind fly fishing, even if I’ll probably never do it. Megan Boyd’s flies were famous for how well they caught Salmon, so much so that the Prince of Wales was a customer of hers. Like Jiro, she didn’t try to expand her operation as it became more and more famous – why would she? She instead continued to serve people as best she could by continuing to make these beautiful works of art whilst also teaching a few others how to.