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Like Father, Like Son (Soshite chichi ni naru)

Ryota is a successful architect. He and his wife Midori live happily with their six-year-old son Keita in their luxurious apartment; they enjoy all the fringe benefits of the upper class. They lean toward being helicopter parents, insisting on regular dinner hours, piano practice, and good grades at a private school. What a shock when they learn that dear Keita is not their own blood son. At his birth the hospital made a mistake and switched two boys. Midori’s guilty conscience plagues her: why didn’t she notice at the time?

The hospital admits its mistake and puts the two families in touch with each other. Yudai and his wife Yukari are raising Ryusei, along with two other children, who are their own. Yudai has an appliance store and drives an old van; he wouldn’t mind some kind of compensation from the hospital for this “mistake.” Otherwise, he would be happy to have both boys – no problem – the more the merrier. Here money plays a lesser role as do adhering to rules and schedules. Ryusei has learned to take responsibility for himself and his family.

The film gives much to think about. What is more important: environment or genes? Is it possible to change families in mid-stream? The parents struggle for open-mindedness and the good of the children, which is difficult because “nobody exchanges his cat or his dog.” They keep in contact; they invite the boys to overnight at each other’s houses. They have meals together. The two mothers bond easily, while the two fathers keep a wary distance. Naturally, many children in the world have survived traumas worse than this. And in the end the children decide for themselves.

A very worthwhile film, there is talk that the US will make an American version, but until then this Japanese version is definitely food for thought and discussion. (Becky Tan)


12 Years a Slave (2013)

20 Feet from Stardom (2013)

20 Feet from Stardom (2013)

42 (2013)

A Most Wanted Man (2014)

Auge um Auge (Out of the Furnace) (2013)

Austenland (2013)

Blackfish (2013)

Boyhood (2014)

Captain Phillips (2013)

Captain Phillips (2013)

Das Große Heft (The Notebook, A nagy füzet) (2013)

Das ist das Ende (This Is the End) (2013)

Das Kleine Gespenst (The Little Ghost) (2013)

Das Magische Haus (The House of Magic) (2013)

Der Große Gatsby (The Great Gatsby) (2013)

Der Medicus (The Physician) (2013)

Die Boxtrolls (The Boxtrolls) (2014)

Die Eiskönigin - Völlig unverfroren (Frozen) (2013)

Don Jon (2013)

Finding Vivian Maier (2013)

Get on Up (2014)

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Hai-Alarm am Müggelsee (2013)

Her (2013)

Im Namen des ... (In the Name Of, W imie...) (2013)

Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

Jack (2014)

Jersey Boys (2014)

Kreuzweg (Stations of the Cross) (2014)

Last Vegas (2013)

Liberace - Zu viel des Guten ist wundervoll (Behind the Candelabra) (2013)

Million Dollar Arm (2014)

Nebraska (2013)

Nowitzki, der Perfekte Wurf (2014)

Ohne Dich (2014)

One Chance - Einmal im Leben (One Chance) (2013)

Phoenix (2014)

R.E.D. 2 (2013)

Rush - Alles für den Sieg (Rush) (2013)

Saving Mr. Banks (2013)

The Blue Umbrella (2013)

The Butterfly’s Dream (The Dream of a Butterfly, Kelebegin Rüyasi) (2013)

The Unknown Known (2013)

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Trance - Gefährliche Erinnerung (Trance) (2013)

Venus im Pelz (Venus in Fur, La Vénus à la fourrure) (2013)

Wacken 3D - Louder than Hell (2014)

Wolfskinder (2013)

Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

Der Große Gatsby (The Great Gatsby) (2013)

Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

Iron Man 3 (2013)

Jimmy’s Hall (2014)

Like Father, Like Son (Soshite chichi ni naru) (2014)

No Turning Back (Locke) (2013)

Prisoners (2013)

Side Effects (2013)

Snowpiercer (2013)

Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

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