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Winner of the 2018 Canne Palme d’Or, Hirokazu Kore-eda’s latest is a complex, profoundly moving drama about the forces holding a struggling family together.
Osamu, his wife and grandma Hatsue head the Shibatas; a poverty-stricken family living in a ramshackle Tokyo bungalow who routinely turn to petting thieving to make ends meet. After one of their shoplifting sessions, Osamu and son Shota happen upon Yuri, a little girl sheltering from the cold and taken her in. Despite the continued hardships of their existence, this newly modified family lives happily – until an unforeseen incident being to test their bond.
By shining the spotlight on an unconventional domestic unit with insight, compassion and humour, Kore-eda gives rare prominence to Japanese society’s urban underclass and questions the possibilities of survival on the margins. An incredibly satisfying film made up of delicate brushstrokes, Shoplifters charms while eschewing overt sentimentality and is full of the director’s trademark subtlety and nuanced moral inquiry.