FESTIVAL SELECTION premiere: ‘Shoplifters’ tests the boundaries of family ties

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On October 21 at 19.00, the Riga International Film Festival (RIGA IFF) will present the Hirokazu Kore-eda‘s film ‘Shoplifters’, winner of the Cannes Palme d’Or, within the programme FESTIVAL SELECTION – a showcase of films awarded with prestigious prizes and praised by the experts and audiences. Get your tickets HERE.

Hirokazu Kore-eda’s — the winner of the Cannes Palme d’Or — works provide a chance to briefly escape from one’s life and to discover what really matters in it. His world is full of meaningful everyday moments that connect people to one another and will be remembered forever.

The film tells about a poor family that shelters a little girl they come across one night in the freezing cold of Tokyo. They seem to live happily together until an unforeseen incident reveals hidden secrets and it turns out – the close bonds that unite them are perceived just as crimes in the eyes of society. Hirokazu Kore-eda – one of the Japan’s most talented and highly acclaimed filmmakers – has been awarded with more than 40 prizes at the most significant international film festivals. This year, he won the Palme d’Or for the ‘Shoplifters’, but this is not his first big success at the Cannes International film festival – his film ‘Like Father, Like Son’ received the Jury Prize in 2013. Although the filmmaker is often compared to another great master of Japanese cinema – Yasujiro Ozu, known for intimate family dramas, he thinks that his creative work is more like Mikio Naruse and Ken Loach.

The director comments on this production: “The story explores what makes a family, whether we can form a family beyond blood relations. In Japan, crimes like pension frauds and parents making their children shoplift are criticized severely. Of course, these criminals should be criticized but I am wondering why people get so angry over such minor infractions even though there are many lawbreakers out there committing far more serious crimes without condemnation.”

The RIGA IFF will take place from October 18 – 31. Its screening venues will be cinemas Splendid Palace, KSuns and Kino Bize, as well as the National Library of Latvia. The audience will be presented with more than 100 films in 12 programmes, diverse industry events, and a range of thought provoking public discussions.