Monday, July 10, 7 p.m. at DGA 1
This warm, witty exploration of unconventional family and unconditional love won the Teddy Jury Award at the Berlin International Film Festival. The award's message of solidarity and equality is epitomized in this film, hailed by critics as breaking new ground for trans narratives in Japanese cinema.
Tomo, now 11, learned self-sufficiency early on. Her mother regularly disappears for days, sometimes weeks, leaving Tomo to raise herself. As always, Uncle Makio takes Tomo in until her mom resurfaces, but he explains things are different; he now lives with his trans girlfriend, Rinko. Tomo is shy at first, but gradually the unfamiliar domesticity of this loving household begins to feel like home. The trio forms a family unit, comically embarking on a knitting project to commemorate Rinko's legal name change. Although her household is labeled "freak family" by her classmates and interrogated by child protective services, Tomo's growing awareness of the prejudice surrounding them draws her even closer to Rinko.
Using surprising humor and emotional depth, and intentionally casting superstars Tôma Ikuta and Kenta Kiritani to put a spotlight on the status of transgender rights in Japan, Naoko Ogigami's film is quietly subversive in its humanizing portrayal of an LGBT family.
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