Soul Sis­ter

mI­rAI I A young boy learns to live with his baby sis­ter in Mamoru Hosoda’s an­i­mated gem…

Total Film - - Teasers - JF

While Stu­dio Ponoc may safely be con­sid­ered the nat­u­ral suc­ces­sor to Stu­dio Ghi­bli, Mamoru Hosoda is the right­ful heir to Miyazaki’s Ja­pan­i­ma­tion crown. The writer/di­rec­tor be­hind Sum­mer Wars, Wolf Chil­dren and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Hosoda’s sen­si­bil­ity is pos­i­tively Miyaza­kian – fam­ily dra­mas fil­tered through a fan­tas­ti­cal lens.

“For a grown-up, some­thing would seem fan­tas­ti­cal,” Hosoda tells Teasers. “But for chil­dren, it may be very real. Cin­ema can ex­plore the mid­dle ground be­tween re­al­ity and fan­tasy.”

As well as delv­ing into this mid­dle ground, Mi­rai is also Hosoda’s most per­sonal work yet. A film born from his own ex­pe­ri­ences as a fa­ther, it fol­lows Kun, a young boy who de­vel­ops a se­ri­ous case of sib­ling jeal­ousy af­ter the birth of his baby sis­ter,

Mi­rai. “The older boy was com­pletely shocked by the ar­rival of the new­born,” Hosoda re­calls of his own kids. “He’d raise his voice and break into tantrums. He felt he lost our love to his sis­ter. And be­ing an only child, that was re­ally in­ter­est­ing for me.”

Af­ter Kun is ac­ci­den­tally left be­hind on a fam­ily day out, the dis­traught boy steps into the seem­ingly mag­i­cal fam­ily gar­den and is taken on a meta­phys­i­cal jour­ney through past, present and fu­ture. Learn­ing lessons from his late an­ces­tors, and even meet­ing a school age Mi­rai, Kun comes to ap­pre­ci­ate what it truly means to have a sis­ter.

An in­ti­mate and mov­ing tale about re­al­is­ing your place within a fam­ily, Mi­rai also ex­plores the cos­mic idea that be­com­ing a par­ent al­lows you to ex­pe­ri­ence child­hood all over again through a new set of eyes. “I learned that par­ent­ing is re­liv­ing your life,” Hosoda smiles. “It be­comes this cir­cu­la­tory loop of life. Which is, of course, huge. And even though this story may be very small, it is about very, very big things.”

Kun is sur­prised to find his baby sis­ter, now school-age, in the gar­den…

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