I Wish

Koichi lives with his mother and retired grandparents in Kagoshima, the southern part of Kyushu region. Separated by their parents’ divorce, his brother Ryunosuke lives with their father in Hakata in northern Kyushu. A new bullet train line in the region will be inaugurated soon, and Koichi starts to believe a “miracle” will happen the first moment these new bullet trains intersect each other from opposite directions with their highest speed; his only wish is for his family to live together once again. With some help from grown-ups around him, Koichi sets out on a journey with a group of friends, each hoping to witness a miracle. [Synopsis courtesy of TIFF]

Still Walking

Every summer, the Yokoyama clan gathers at the family’s seaside home to commemorate beloved eldest son Junpei, who drowned 15 years earlier. Surviving son Ryota (Hiroshi Abe) has brought his new wife and her child to meet with his eternally disapproving parents, attempting to hide the fact that he is currently unemployed. Patriarch Kyohei (Yoshio Harada) is an unhappily retired doctor, resentful to be participating in this annual ritual. Matriarch Toshiko (Kirin Kiki) busies herself with food preparation and chitchat in an attempt to hide her frustrations and anger, while sister Chinami (Japanese pop star You) tries to relieve the tension with sheer perkiness. Over the course of one hot, languorous day, they will tolerate each other’s company and attempt to salvage long-broken connections, if only for a few hours.

Our Little Sister

Three sisters – Sachi, Yoshino and Chika – live together in a large house in the city of Kamakura. When their father – absent from the family home for the last 15 years – dies, they travel to the countryside for his funeral, and meet their shy teenage half-sister. Bonding quickly with the orphaned Suzu, they invite her to live with them. Suzu eagerly agrees, and a new life of joyful discovery begins for the four siblings… [Synopsis courtesy of Cannes Film Festival]