[ Directed by ]
[ Produced by ]
* MATSUZAKI Kaoru
* TAGUCHI Hijiri
[ Cast ]
* AYASE Haruka KODA Sachi
* NAGASAWA Masami KODA Yoshino
* Kaho KODA Chika
* HIROSE Suzu ASANO Suzu
[ Staff ]
* Original Graphic Novel: YOSHIDA Akimi
* Music: KANNO Yoko
* Director of Photography: TAKIMOTO Mikiya
* Lighting: FUJII Norikiyo
* Sound: TSURUMAKI Yutaka
* Production Design: MITSUMATSU Keiko
* Screenplay: KORE-EDA Hirokazu
* Editor: KORE-EDA Hirokazu
[ Production Company ]
Fuji Television Network, SHOGAKUKAN, TOHO, GAGA
[ Distributor (Japan) ]
[ Production Studio ]
Release Date: June, 13th, 2015
Running Time: 126 min
Genre: Drama, Feature
Screening Format : DCP
Screening Format with Subtitles
[ Story ]
A live-action adaptation by Kore-eda Hirokazu (
Like Father, Like Son
) of Yoshida Akimi’s eponymous 2013 Manga-Taisho (cartoon grand prize)-winning manga. It depicts the emotional journeys of four sisters after the death of their father, with beautiful cinematography that captures the four seasons in Kamakura. Officially selected for the Competition section of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.
Sachi (Ayase Haruka), Yoshino (Nagasawa Masami), and Chika (Kaho), three sisters living in a seaside town, receive word of the death of their father, who they have not heard from for years. Upon attending his funeral, they meet their younger half-sister Suzu (Hirose Suzu) and decide to take her in.
[ Official Site ]
[ Film Festivals, Awards ]
2015 Cannes Film Festival, Competition
2015 Toronto International Film Festival, Masters
2015 San Sebastian International Film Festival, Audience Award
2015 Busan International Film Festival, Gala Presentation
2015 International Film Festival of India, Goa, Masters
2015 London Film Festival, Love
2015 Sydney Film Festival, Special Presentation
Three sisters, Sachi, Yoshino, and Chika, live together in a large house in the city of Kamakura. When the father (who has moved away from the family years ago) dies, they go to his funeral and meet the adolescent and shy sister, Suzu, with whom they immediately establish a deep bond. They invite her to move away from them forever, thus beginning a new life for everyone.
The new film by Kore-eda Hirokazu, Umimachi Diary, begins and ends with a funeral, surprising for the profound peace that is breathed in every shot. For the balance that nothing and nobody can ever break, not even the misunderstandings or separations. We could speak of melancholy happiness, thanks to the sweet gaze of a director who puts aside the tensions for once and films the reality in its unfolding. Three generations told by remaining tied to the small things of an unstable present, but full of presents. The life that takes shape on the screen with the disarming simplicity of living.
Umimachi Diary (Our Little Sister recounts the international title) is taken from Yoshida Akimi’s manga and recalls Little Women of whom she keeps the common way of telling an atypical and unbalanced family, playing along with the timeline of past-present-future with all the possible cards of optimism. We are, therefore, in the territory always analyzed by the Japanese director: the family and its dysfunctions, here extraordinarily represented through the repetitive convivial moments that unite the four protagonists and all the characters that revolve around them. A diary, precisely, just as the title reads, written through the simple stratagems of repetition and of a plan report of unimportant events. Because it is not the extraordinary that creates the film, but the ordinary, the simple progression of everyday life. A slight story of women only, which does not start or end, simply happens, as if the camera had crossed this adventure for the time necessary to get us into an almost magical microcosm, which knows no dramatic upsurge.
The task of dictating the narrative rhythm and visualizing the game of memory is entrusted by Kore-eda to the flavors of the kitchen. Episodes and loved ones are remembered through a recipe or the scent of a liqueur: an ancient way of representing time, which is filled with a sweet nostalgia. Family treasures, one might say, that generate words, smiles, reflections, tributes (and some of them are closed in secret storerooms under the floor). Memories are entrusted with foods and, thanks to them, ties are strengthened or created. Yet Kore-eda’s attention is completely dedicated to the present. How is the present renewed every moment? Which traces remain in the next moment? The answers are many, but all visible and concrete, yet impalpable and difficult to explain. Because the greatest skill of the director of Soshite, chichi ni Naru (This father, this son, 2013) lies in the lightness with which life can be mysterious and easy at the same time.