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I WISH

Director: HIROKAZU KORE-EDA

128 minutes, Japan, 2011, Subtitled, Colour, D-Cinema


EXCLUSIVELY AT IFI  

Casting two real-life siblings as brothers living with separated parents on the western Japanese island of Kyushu makes all the difference in director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s latest engrossing family drama. Although they necessarily spend time on the phone to one other, there’s something instantly believable about the bond between Koki and Oshirô Maeda, as they plan to get back together via a brand-new bullet-train link (the railway companies actually co-funded the film to mark the occasion!). If that central conceit sounds slightly too cute for its own good, fear not, since subsequent events are to change the lives of both households – just not in the way they expect.

As he showed in his previous Nobody Knows, Kore-eda is a wonderful director of children, whose breezy contentment makes a potent contrast with the story’s underlying theme of the value of perseverance. Utterly charming, yet deceptively complex, this brings the wise humanist legacy of Yasujiro Ozu bang up to date. (Notes by Trevor Johnston.)

 

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