BAMPFA Student Committee Pick
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.
Lily Franky, Sakura Ando, Mayu Matsuoko, Kirin Kiki,
A family of shoplifters and cast-offs float along the margins of Japan in Kore-eda’s 2018 Cannes Palme d’Or winner, a tribute to those who create their own bonds to unite and survive in the face of poverty and indifference. Kore-eda here extends his consistently humane, heartfelt appraisal of what it means to be a family to include people who lead their loved ones to shoplift, sell themselves, and cheat the system, but, as the film makes abundantly clear, their crimes are trivial compared to the corruption that keeps them in place. Legendary actress Kirin Kiki gives one of her last performances in this, one of Kore-eda’s rawest, most socially aware works. “The core emotion when I was making this film might have been ‘anger,’” writes Kore-eda. In other films, “I have dug desperately into the motif of personal things, but [with Shoplifters] I put an end to this approach of not broadening my vision to society. It could be said that I have gone back to where I started.”