PAST FILM SCREENING
February 6 – 2PM + 7:30PM
Japan, 2018 – Rated: 14A – 121 minutes
Japanese with English subtitles
Directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda
Cast: Lily Franky, Sakura Andô, Kirin Kiki, Miyu Sasaki, Jyo Kairi
Hirokazu Kore-eda (Our Little Sister, The Third Murder) continues to tell stories of complicated familial relationships in his latest feature. Winner of the 2018 Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and Japan’s official submission
for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2019 Academy Awards, Shoplifters explores the ways in which the security of a loving family — as well as the need to survive — can sometimes overshadow morally questionable behaviour.
Osamu (Lily Franky, Like Father, Like Son) and his wife, Nobuyo (Sakura Ando), are struggling on low incomes to support their Tokyo family, and turn to shoplifting to get by. One day, while stealing food from a local grocery store, Osamu and his son Shota (Jyo Kairi) meet Yuri (Miyu Sasaki), a young girl who appears to be homeless. They bring her home for dinner and, noticing signs of abuse, decide to take her in as one of their own, eventually training her in the “family business.” Upon learning that Yuri’s abusive parents are looking for her, they cut her hair and rename her Rin to keep her safe.
While it’s clear the family will go to almost any lengths to achieve basic financial stability, they provide Rin with a loving, supportive, and nurturing environment. Shoplifters asks the audience to consider which life is more desirable: one full of love and support but dependent on unethical or illegal actions, or one that is socially accepted but ultimately empty.
“Who better than Kore-eda, a director who whispers instead of shouts, is able to capture contradictions and issues though such a subtle, unforced style of storytelling?”
The Hollywood Reporter
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