Japan has countless culinary exports treasured the world around — hi, sushi — but one of the most beloved is the rice wine known as sake. Here's a clip from The Birth of Saké, a new documentary about a 150-year-old, sixth-generation sake brewery in Japan. The beautifully shot film delves into the time-consuming process of making sake, as well as the sense of community between the people who make it. To make sake for the family-run Yoshida Brewery, workers must spend six months apart from their families.
As one of the sake artisans featured in the film says, "Sake making is a living thing. If you compare it to human beings — it would be like raising a child. You have to nurture it properly, and once it matures into a fine adult, it's called sake."
The brainchild of filmmaker Erik Shirai, who spent a year in Japan following the brewery, it premieres today at the IFC Center in Manhattan and also is available now via iTunes.