Mr. P’s Dancing Sushi Bar


Mr. P’s Dancing Sushi Bar is not your “meat and potatoes” post-Vietnam war film. Shot on location in Los Angeles and Vietnam, Hirotaka Tashiro’s film centers on African-American sushi chef Bruce McFee and his expatriate Japanese wife Mitsuko. After Bruce loses his job as a sushi chef through what may or may not have been racism (he was the only black sushi chef at a Japanese-owned restaurant), he and Mitsuko decide to open up their own place. Mr. P’s Dancing Sushi Bar is a huge success, but it soon becomes apparent that the hard work and long hours the restaurant requires are just another excuse for Bruce not to deal with the past. It is twenty years after the end of the Vietnam War, and Bruce still has nightmares about his actions overseas, while Mitsuko remains haunted by thoughts of the son and husband she abandoned for soldier Bruce two decades earlier. They decide to call it quits—both to the marriage and the sushi bar.

Bruce returns to Vietnam to face his demons. He begins to write to Mitsuko, and in a moving and vivid sequence, she arrives in Vietnam to find him. Together they travel through the sites of old horrors and work toward healing old wounds. Mr. P.’s Dancing Sushi Bar is a charming and heartfelt new look at the effects of the Vietnam war on two people. Part comedy, part study of a marriage in trouble, part social commentary, Mr. P’s quietly turns postwar trauma into an emblem for all issues from the past that must be revisited in order to move on.

Hirotaka Tashiro, Director
In 1981 Hirotaka Tashiro began as an assistant director to acclaimed Japanese filmmaker Kaneto Shindo, working on Rakuyoju (1983), Black Board (1985), and Sukuratai Chiru (1986). Hirotaka wrote and produced his first feature, Afureru arsui namida (Swimming with Tears), presented at the New York, San Francisco, London, and Berlin film festivals; it won the New Director Award at the Osaka Film Festival. Last year he was a recipient of the Cinema 100/Sundance International Award for Mr. P’s Dancing Sushi Bar.

— Susan Morris

Screening Details


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