Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Father Figures
A poetic look at the Palme d’Or-winning director’s notion of fatherhood.
Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda just won the Palme d’Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival for Shoplifters, surprising audiences and critics alike. After all, Kore-eda’s films are more often known for their quietude than their festival hype. His movies are gentle meditations on life, known and respected for their humanity and their treatment of the subtle intricacies of close relationships. Of the many kinds of bonds he depicts, Kore-eda often focuses on fatherhood. What does it mean to be a father? How do a man’s experiences with his own father manifest themselves when he himself becomes a parent? Are fathers bound to repeat the patterns that came before them? Kore-eda is fascinated by questions such as these, and they’re important ones to consider. As we congratulate the director on his immense success, let’s take a closer look at the ways in which he frames fatherhood, and the subtle lessons we can learn.