Dir: Satoshi Kon, 2003, Japan, 93 mins, Cert: 12A (Japanese with English Subtitles)
Wed 20 December // 18:30
Tickets: £5 (full) / £4 (concession)
Taking narrative and character cues from classic Hollywood, Kon shines a light on the compassion inherent in all of humanity harkening back to the films of Frank Capra and Charlie Chaplin.
It’s Christmas Eve and three homeless people, Gin (Tôru Emori), a middle-aged alcoholic, Miyuki (Aya Okamoto), a teenage runaway and Hana (Yoshiaki Umegaki), a transsexual former drag queen, have formed a makeshift family on the streets of Tokyo. While rummaging in dustbins for food they find an abandoned newborn baby. With only a handful of clues to the baby’s identity, the three misfits try to solve the mystery and return her to her parents. Along the way, encounters with seemingly unrelated events and people force them to confront their own haunted pasts, as they learn to face their future, together.
There's no shortage of visual beauty on display with dancing buildings, dazzling lights, and drizzling snow, creating a beautifully atmospheric animated world. In his penultimate film, the late Satoshi Kon seamlessly blends whimsy and pathos for a stirring and sweet Christmas tale.