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The sudden death of a young mother opens a well of grief in the family, leaving single dad Kenichi to raise baby Miki alone, while he stays numbly resistant to offers of help. As Miki grows up, he has little time to heal as he fumbles through parenthood. Kenichi is aware of his daughter’s sensitivities, and shrugs off expectations to remarry. The father-daughter duo move through the next decade with the ups and downs of family life, tinged with grief.
Takayuki Yamada (The Naked Director) takes on a poignant role as the young male widow, Kenichi. Far from the realities of financial hardship faced by more than half of Japanese single mothers, affluent Kenichi keeps his corporate managerial role and affords quality childcare, but the facade of a busy lifestyle doubles as avoidance.
Step is an adaptation of Kiyoshi Shigematsu’s novel of the same name, and director Ken Iizuka (Rainbow Days, JFF 2018) offers a subtle, reflective take on the nuanced tradition of Japanese family drama.
Thursday 28th October
Takayuki Yamada, Tamaki Shiratori
Palace Barracks, Palace Norton St, Palace Verona, Palace Electric, Kino Cinema, Palace Raine Square