Our Little Sister
Marilyn Fabe is the author of Closely Watched Films and was the longtime teacher for the popular BAMPFA lecture/screening series Film 50: History of Cinema.
Haruka Ayase, Masami Nagasawa, Kaho, Suzu Hirose,
Three sisters grieving their father’s death decide to “adopt” the teenage half-sister they’ve just met in Kore-eda’s captivating exploration of sibling ties, female relationships, and the passing of time, set in the idyllic, enchanting seaside town of Kamakura, Japan. As in much of the director’s work, the plot itself soon pleasurably dissolves in a string of documentary-like moments—family meetings, strolls around Kamakura, quietly overheard conversations—with a focus not on emotional fireworks, but rather on the everyday sensation of a family (in this case, a family of women) simply being. “What interests me is not only the beauty of the scenery of Kamakura,” Kore-eda explained, “but also . . . the beauty that arises from the realization . . . that the town, and the time there, continue even when we are gone.”