Inspired by Japanese singer and musician Akiko Yano's song “Love Life”, the film tells the story of Taeko (Fumino Kimura) and her husband Jiro (Kento Nagayama) who are living a peaceful existence with her young son Keita (Tetta Shimada), when a tragic accident brings the boy’s long-lost father, Park (Atom Sunada), back into Taeko’s life.
To cope with the pain and guilt she feels after the accident, Taeko throws herself into helping this deaf and homeless man for whom she feels a strong sense of responsibility. Kôji Fukada powerfully uses sign language in the film and has said of this choice that “I don’t have to come up with reasons to have hearing people in my films, so it would be unfair to ask for a reason to have a deaf person.
Hopefully, this film will be a step towards this becoming the norm, where we don’t demand a special reason to have deaf people in films. That would be a great innovation to come out of this.” Isolation, emotional distance and (mis)communication are all on display, though these subjects are approached with a disorienting but welcome and comedic lightness, underlining the absurdity of family life. Recalling the best of Kore-eda Hirokazu, Fukada Kōji’s ninth feature in 20 years finds possibilities for redemption and healing amid its characters’ heartache and anguish.- a beautifully creative investigation of what it means to be family
Thanks to BFI Distribution