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Like Father, Like Son
Soshite chichi ni naru

Directed by Hirokazu Koreeda
Produced by Hijiri Taguchi and Kaoru Matsuzaki
Written by Hirokazu Koreeda
With: Masaharu Fukuyama, Machiko Ono, Yôko Maki, Rirî Furankî, Jun Fubuki, Shôgen Hwang, Kirin Kiki, Jun Kunimura, and Megumi Morisaki
Cinematography: Mikiya Takimoto
Editing: Hirokazu Koreeda
Runtime: 121 min
Release Date: 28 September 2013
Aspect Ratio: 1.85 : 1
Color: Color

Like Father, Like Son from writer/director Hirokazu Koreeda (I Wish, After Life) finds a fresh take on the old switched-at-birth fable by making the protagonist one of the parents rather than one or both of the children that discover they are not who they thought they were. This is not to say that the children don't factor into this film--quite the contrary, the performances by the two young boys and all the kids in this picture are one of its principal delights. Unlike last year’s terrific Israeli film The Other Son, Koreeda doesn't use the situation to explore complex socio/political ideas but rather to tell a simple, personal story. Of course, themes of class and identity weave their way through the narrative, as they always do in variations on The Prince and the Pauper, but Like Father, Like Son is much more about the meaning of parenthood and what makes a good father. For that reason, many may consider this film to be schmaltzy (or whatever the equivalent of shmaltzy is in the austere Japanese culture). But just because the film explores uncomplicated themes doesn't make it any less meaningful. While the story adheres to certain specific Japanese attitudes around patriarchy and work ethics, it is just as relevant to most every contemporary, work-obsessed society. It is no surprise the film won the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Cannes Festival.