The Birth of Saké is a documentary film about the workers and production seasons at Tedorigawa, a fifth-generation, family-owned sake brewery in Ishikawa, Japan. Tedorigawa has been producing some of the world’s top award winning sakés since 1870, and still relies on time-honored techniques to hand craft sake in a traditional way.
“Through the unrelenting winter in the north of Japan, a small group of workers must brave unusual working conditions to bring to life a 2000-year-old tradition that we have come to know as saké, a unique fermented brew that is subtle and seemingly uncomplicated.
The workers at the Tedorigawa brewery are a group of diverse men, ranging from 20 to 70 years old. They endure six straight months of working, living, and sharing their lives together as they handcraft world-class saké. They are a unique set of characters, hilarious and jovial, yet also somber and serious. Altogether, they embody a strong sense of adaptation, interdependence, camaraderie, and resilience. Because the workers live in a state of prolonged concentration on crafting saké, there is no separation between their personal lives and the life of the saké. Inevitably, the spirit of the workers becomes interfused with the saké that they make.”