Our Little Sister

Hirokazu Koreeda

Courtesy of TIFF

BY Scott A. GrayPublished Sep 15, 2015

Akimi Yoshida's celebrated manga serial, Umimachi Diary, is a great fit for the sort of quiet, contemplative slice-of-life drama Hirokazu Koreeda (Like Father, Like Son) excels at conveying. As with much of his work, plot takes a backseat to character; Koreeda's concern is with the truths revealed by the minutiae of intimate social interaction much more so than with the trajectory of the story's action.
As such, don't expect high drama or grand resolutions in this tale of three adult sisters who convince their teenage half sister to leave her rural life in order to live with them in their ancestral home in a small fishing community after meeting her at their father's funeral. Though this approach might come off as boring to viewers with a lust for histrionics, Koreeda and his very capable cast manage to find and skilfully highlight the humour, levity and profound, though understated, sadness of everyday life in this charming and only occasionally saccharine picture.

(Mongrel Media)

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