Still Walking (Hirokazu Koreeda – 2008) A

I admit it took me a while to get into this Japanese drama that takes place over a weekend. Started watching it not knowing much about it other than it does have some good “foodie” themes. That is does as the mom, Toshiko, cooks for the family multiple meals, discusses the nuances of corn fritters and gossips with her daughter as they grate daikon. The central theme here is family though and the events that bring us together yet separate us and cause irrevocable tears in the fabric.

The reason Ryota, his new wife and her kid are visiting his parents this weekend is for the annual memorial and ritual around his brother’s death. The dead brother seems like he was the favorite. Ryota on the other hand is struggling to live up to his father’s expectations. His father is a doctor, solemn and direct. Ryo on the other hand is currently between jobs and does not want to admit it. There is a lot going on here and we go through so many ups and downs with them through the 48 hours that by the end of it we know these people and care about them. The finale as the aging parents walk up the long long winding stairs leading up from the street to their home really put a poignant bow on how fleeting time is, we need to keep walking but we also should cherish those we love. You never know when or if you will have time with them again.

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