Arte has taken the good habit of extending the broadcast of a few anthology films with documentaries on their fate and their author. After A family matter, at 9 p.m., Palme d’or in 2018, a portrait of the filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda by Emmanuel Hamon analyzes the shooting, the theme and its context in contemporary Japan, the career of this discreet director, worked on questions of parenthood .

His fifteenth fiction film (after ten documentaries for Japanese television) returned to it once again, around characters of all generations, unrelated, sheltered in a traditional house, engaging in pilfering, taking in an abandoned child , without returning it to these brutal parents, hiding it to warm it up.

→ CRITICAL. “A family affair”, the varnish of appearances

What is a family, Kore-eda wonders? Can it only be defined by the strict bonds of blood? Isn’t choosing each other and agreeing enough? Question taboo in Japan where only 2% of children are born out of wedlock.

Light on a precarious daily life

With this “Little film” on a meager budget, Kore-eda expected a flop. After its triumph at Cannes, it attracted four million spectators in Japan. And unleashed the wrath of the liberal government, furious to discover there an image of precariousness and poverty shattering the smooth, rich and pacified appearance, frozen chromo, that this country likes to project of itself to the point of imposing it on the rest. of the world.

What does the filmmaker do, who himself had a difficult childhood? “He shows the light in the dust”, sums up its main actor. The beauty of a forgotten way of life with characters linked by the bonds of the heart in a “protective cave” weakened by the accumulation of lies and pretenses. With his images at child height, he offers a particular taste of happiness. The actors testify that this feeling has lasted between them. Bound by friendship, they now form a small… family.


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