Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda’s cinematic representation of a parental dilemma has enthralled the Cannes Film Festival jury.
Successful architect Ryota plans his life to the smallest detail. Then one day, he and his wife, Midori, get an unexpected phone call from the hospital. Their 6-year-old son, Keita, is not their biological son, the hospital gave them the wrong baby. The parents initiate a contact with the family that also fell victim to this switch and concurrently raised their true son. Both parents try to come to a solution which turns out to be an extremely aggravating business as the families come from different social backgrounds and consequently gave their children markedly dissimilar upbringings.
»I often find myself being told by friends that my daughter looks so much like me as we walk through the park. Comparing facial features like our eyes and mouths, I do feel my DNA has left a mark on her. Is it, then, the realization of shared blood that makes a man into a father? Or is it the time father and child spend together? /.../ Is it blood or is it time? /.../ All of my quandaries and questions and, indeed, regrets – this is the first time I have poured these emotions so candidly into the protagonist of a film.«
- Hirokazu Kore-eda
Born 1962 in Tokyo, Japan. After graduating Kore-eda joined the TV Man Union where he directed several prize-winning documentaries. In 1995, his directorial debut Maborosi entered the Venice International Film Festival’s competition programme. His second film, After Life, brought him international acclaim. The director’s works sensitively treat crucial human issues, often featuring children in leading roles.