Imagine living out a wildly improbable scenario which was extremely unlikely to occur, but if and when it did has the power to invoke enormous consequences and change to every facet of your life. This is what Ryota Nonomiya, successful businessman, uptight disciplinarian and ambitious father is faced with in this Japanese drama when he and his wife are told that their six year old son was swapped at birth and that they are raising the biological son of a relaxed shopkeeper and his wife. Encouraged by the negligent hospital, all four parents must decide whether to keep the children they have raised – or do the unthinkable and ‘swap’ them to their biological families.
A moving examination of what the true meaning of ‘love’ and ‘family’ is, this film causes the viewer to develop empathy with each of the characters and their different ways of dealing with the unexpected tragedy – even the uptight, snobbish Nonomiya, who struggles to understand what it is to love.
Beautifully shot and incredibly moving throughout, this must surely be one of the standout films of the 2013 Festival.
*Repeat screening at Palace Nova on Wednesday 16 October 2013 at 2pm