Close-Knit | Institut français du Royaume-Uni

Sat 14 Oct


Cert. tbc

Festivals & Series

61st BFI London Film Festival

127 mins

in Japanese with EN sub

Japan | 2017 | dir. Naoko Ogigami, with Toma Ikuta, Rinka Kakihara, Kenta Kiritani

Knitting is catharsis for Rinko, a transwoman whose maternal feelings are stirred by the arrival of her boyfriend’s 11-year-old niece, Tomo. Abandoned by her mum, resilient Tomo is used to fending for herself and now Rinko (played by heartthrob Toma Ikuta) must gain the trust of the insecure little girl. Those seeking Western gender politics or a sassy trans heroine are in for something different here. Although Rinko’s knitting patterns do have a subversive streak, her feminine values are more aligned with genteel passivity and familial subservience. So, it is within this traditional family drama framework that Naoko Ogigami beautifully teases out so many subtle and moving surprises, from the pleasure that Rinko takes in drinking beer, to the power of love communicated through a bento box and the true meaning of all those knitted blobs. A quietly subversive and emotionally rich film to treasure.

Sat 14 Oct 6pm

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Followed by a Q&A with director Naoko Ogigami