Shoplifting and Family Activity

Movie Review: “Shoplifters,” Directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda, 121 minutes

A family that steals together,
feels together

This isn’t a Hollywood movie with a given gimmick, heroes, villains, and a romantic ending. It is a delicate, multi- layered garment that must be pulled back gently to reveal its true design. It earns its honors and awards without any trumpets nor fanfare.

It’s not really about theft, even though the impoverished Japanese family gets a lot of its basic necessities that way. It’s not about poverty, slums, or sex either. That’s just the setting for a story about universal themes of love, commitment, and, above all, family.

My movie buddy and I found the subtitled movie slow for the first hour and a half, even though we kept picking up nuances that intrigued us just enough to keep us in our seats. The last half hour explains everything and pushes every tiny circumstance into hard questions that challenge everything we have thought and felt about the little group of shoplifters and thieves.

I guess that’s art.

–Gene Lantz

I’m on KNON radio’s “Workers Beat” program 89.3 FM in Dallas at 9 AM Central Time every Saturday. They podcast on Itunes. If you are curious about what I really think, check out my personal web site

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