Shoplifters (Manbiki kazoku)
Cert: TBC Year: 2018 Length: 121 mins Language: Japanese
Hirokazu Koreeda has been recognized as a great director - the 'heir' to Yazujiru Ozu - since 'Nobody Knows' (2004), winning many awards around the world, but it has taken till now for him to win the Palme d’Or at Cannes with this, his latest film. I first fell in love with his work back in September 2010 when the film club showed 'Still Walking'. Since then, we have had most of his films and they have all gone down well in Keswick.
Always the master of family dynamics, here his family is more a house full of people living on the margins of society: "Shoplifting is practised by a middle-aged construction worker and the young boy he treats (and has trained) like a son; the labourer's wife works on a job-share scheme in a laundry; another young woman performs in a peep-show parlour; while the eldest of the makeshift 'family' lives off her former husband's pension and other more mysterious sources of income...Typically for Koreeda, the generally becalmed, affectionate tone builds slowly towards scenes that are finally deeply moving without ever being mawkish. Boasting excellent performances all round (with the writer-director once again demonstrating his expertise with children), 'Shoplifters' is another charming, funny and very affecting example of Koreeda's special brand of tough-but-tender humanism" - Geoff Andrew, Time Out.
The family dynamic is changed by a young girl they 'rescue' from the streets... "The director has always been good at showing love manifest itself in surprising ways, and his ability to tell this story with a minimum of sensationalism and judgement feels like a small miracle" - Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice.
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