Eleven-year-old Tomo, abandoned once again by her negligent mother, seeks refuge at the home of her adored uncle. But Uncle has a new and very tall girlfriend, the sweet transgendered Rinko, who is more than happy to be the young girl's surrogate mom. So begins Naoko Ogigami’s lovely, gently radical celebration of an alternative family structure. The first Japanese movie to deal with transgender issues, Close-Knit is an astutely observed crowd-pleaser that explores this complex situation with humor and poignancy.
Having spent time in the US, where LGBTQ people were a part of her everyday life, Ogigami felt a marked difference in the visibility of different sexual orientations and gender identities upon her return to Japan, and set out to write what would become this emotional, groundbreaking film. To play the warm but reticent Rinko, who finds solace in knitting, writer/director Ogigami cast one of Japan’s leading heartthrobs, Tomo Ikuta.
Winner: Audience Award, Queer Lisboa; Tel Aviv LGBT; Teddy Jury Award, Berlin
|Kenzô Ishiguro, Masashi Igarashi, Noriaki Takagi
|Toma Ikuta, Rinka Kakihara, Kenta Kiritani
|Teddy Jury Award, Berlin International Film Festival; Audience Award, Best Feature Film, Queer Lisboa; Jury Prize, Best Narrative Feature, Tel Aviv International LGBT Film Festival; Audience Award, Helsinki International FIlm Festival- Love & Anarchy