Of Flesh and Blood: The Cinema of Hirokazu Kore-eda
Four films from acclaimed Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda. In 'Maborosi' (1995) Yumiko (Makiko Esumi) is newly married with a young baby but when tragedy strikes and her husband Ikuo (Tadanobu Asano) is killed in an apparent suicide she is deeply troubled by her loss. Despite remarrying a widower (Takashi Naito) and moving to the coast the death of her husband continues to haunt her as she struggles to find meaning in the world. In 'After Life' (1998) the dead arrive in limbo and are invited to select one memory that they wish to take with them to the afterlife. Over the following week, the recently-deceased think back over their lives, looking for the moment in their lives that meant the most to them. In 'Nobody Knows' (2004) 12-year-old Akira (Yuya Yagira) wakes up to find a note from his mother which includes some money and instructions about looking after his three younger siblings while she is away. The children cope well to begin with, helping each other with the housework and Akira ensuring that the bills are paid. However, when their mother fails to return after several weeks the children are forced to deal with an increasingly chaotic situation, as Akira tries to prevent the landlord from finding out the truth. Finally, in 'Still Walking' (2008) middle-aged art restorer Ryota (Hiroshi Abe) and his sister Chinami (You) return to their childhood home with their own families for a gathering to mark the 15th anniversary of the death of their older brother Junpei, who drowned while saving another boy's life. As the family members reconnect over the course of one summer day they continue struggling to come to terms with their loss and tensions increase between Ryota and his father Kyohei (Yoshio Harada).