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Like Father, Like Son

“Imagine learning your 6-year-old son is not, in fact, your son. That’s the revelation around which the Japanese film Like Father, Like Son revolves - two boys switched at birth, whose parents find out six years later. What do you do? Writer/director Hirokazu Koreeda does not pretend that there are easy answers. The film plays almost like a fable, but the emotions and heartbreak are always grounded in reality.
“Ryota is a workaholic architect who demands much of his young son Keita, a parenting method with which his wife Midorino doesn’t always support. Keita is every bit the cold, removed little man his father wants him to be.Then the hospital calls with the news: Keita is not their son. Their real son is Ryusei, who has been brought up by Yukari and Yudai.
“The families couldn’t be more different. Where Ryota is reserved, Ryusei and his family are freewheeling, loud, boisterous. There is also the matter of money. Where Keita has grown up in privilege, Ryusei has not. The hospital recommends switching the boys back, as soon as possible. Ryota, who is obsessed with his lineage and the success of his son isn’t against the idea. But Midorino is wracked with guilt.
“This is a difficult film, one that asks questions that can’t really be answered. Nature or nurture? The struggle continues.
- Arizona Republic

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