Our Little Sister: A beautiful and engaging Japanese film showing at the Curzon cinema

editorial image

For its first screening of 2019, the Eastbourne Film Society turns to a notably beautiful film from Japan.

Showing next Wednesday at the Curzon Cinema with seats for the public is Our Little Sister.

Koreeda Hirokazu is today one of the best established of all living Japanese filmmakers and he is particularly noted for making films about family life. Our Little Sister, which dates from 2015, is a case in point. Koreeda’s film tells of three sisters in Kamakura who have created their own close family unit. This is because their father has deserted them years earlier and gone off to find a fresh life for himself, a decision which resulted in his marrying again not once but twice.

Furthermore their mother had subsequently moved away too. In the circumstances it is the eldest sister, Sachi, who is the one who looks after this household of siblings. We come to know all three sisters individually, but the central thread that emerges in this narrative of everyday life introduces a further key character.

When the film opens, the sisters have just heard of the death of their father and they duly travel to attend his funeral.

While there they meet for the first time a schoolgirl daughter of his, a child of his second marriage.

This is Suzu and on meeting her Sachi spontaneously offers her the chance to join her and her sisters in Kamakura.

How that works out and what life brings to all of the sisters is told in this quiet, engaging work, one that is quintessentially Japanese in character yet meaningful about family life in ways which are universal.