The Japanese filmmaker continues his subtle exploration of the inner workings of family life with this portrait of three woman who discover the existence of their half sister. Our Little Sister follows on from Like Father, Like Son – a sensitive take on fatherhood, which won the Jury Prize in 2013.
Photo from the film © RR
Family life has been a major source of inspiration for Japanese arthouse films for nearly two decades, and is also a theme dear to the heart of Hirokazu Kore-Eda. Like Naomi Kawase– another figurehead of Japanese cinema to have won international acclaim – the director trains his always poetic and lucid gaze on the issues underlying family life in his country.
Since making his cinematic debut, Hirokazu Kore-Eda has never stopped examining and dissecting the subject – in a style occasionally resembling documentary – uncovering the inner workings and upheavals that are undermining its very foundations. His films, with their highly structured and extremely delicate narrative sweep, examine relationships between generations and blood ties – a theme at the heart of this length feature film.
My Little Sister tells the story of Sachi, Yoshino and Chika, three sisters at their father's funeral. Discover the existence of Suzu, a 13-year-old half sister, whom they decide to take in under their roof. In the filmmaker's eyes, the beauty of humanity reaches its fullest expression when the natural ties that govern family life appear fragile or broken. Hirokazu Kore-Eda explains that he is far less likely to admire "a life without problems than a life which has rediscovered the meaning behind a broken existence."
Acclaimed by the critics as a natural successor to Yasujirō Ozu, Kore-Eda shares the maestro's innate of time and space. As in Air Doll (2009), a magnificent fable on open solitude in which an inflatable doll comes to life, the director has based the essence of this story on a hit manga: Kamakura Diary, by Akimi Yoshida.