Fantastic thought-provoking films, as a rule (lately at least) don’t routinely show up for prime time – but today’s headlines pulled a uey. Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Shoplifters (万引き家族 Manbiki Kazoku, literally Shoplifting Family) just won the Palme d’Or at Cannes. It is scheduled to be released in Japan on the 8th of June (2018).

So far, that’s it.

DRUMROLL

Meanwhile, if you’re like us, you can warm up with Kore-eda’s 2013’s prequel Like Father, Like Son. We’d seen the previews and thought, “nah, maybe not” — but now that we’ve seen the trailer for the sequel, it’s zoomed right to the top of our must see list.

Both films are an attempt to answer the question, “what is family?”

A few days later . . .

Haven’t managed to get our hands on Like Father, Like Son (yet), so we launched our inquiry instead with Our Little Sister (2015), originally titled Umimachi Diary, lit. “Seaside town diary”).

I highly recommend it.

The next question is, ” are all of Kore-eda’s films crafted to answer the question “What is Family?”

Apparently, yes.

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