Inspired by a real-life incident of child abandonment, this piercing family drama is a testament to the everyday resilience of four young siblings left to survive on their own in a Tokyo apartment. When young single mother Keiko (You) leaves home to pursue a mysterious job and a new romance, 12-year-old Akira (Yuya Yagira) must look after his younger sisters and brother, keeping the household together as money dwindles and months pass without word. With wrenching clarity and unvarnished lyricism, Kore-eda captures the precarious balancing act of hope and vigilance that sustains children forced to grow up much too quickly.
Note: We are screening IFC Films’s only 35mm print, which has scratches.
Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Shoplifters opens on November 23. Get tickets here.