Our Little Sister

“utterly enchanting tale of female family bonds”

This sweetly tender movie from Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda is superbly unforced and unassuming, finding delicate notes of affirmation and optimism and discreetly celebrating the beauty of nature and family love.

The three sisters have long been estranged from both parents. Their father left them to live with another woman, with whom he had a child. Their mother walked out, too, leaving them in young adulthood in the family home. But, when they receive news of their father’s death and go to the funeral, they meet their teenage half-sister and decide she must come to live with them.

It is a richly pleasing film, bringing in the classic imagery from the Japanese provincial family drama: rural train journeys, group meals linking family and food, melancholy funerals and some wonderful seasonal compositions.