Tokyo Godfathers. 16 January 2016. 2:30 pm.

TOKYO GODFATHERS (Satoshi Kon, Shogo Furuya, 2003)
Japanese with English subtitles


Japanese animation has revolutionised the artform, thanks to wonderfully imaginative fantasy and science fiction films, and thanks to unsurpased realist films offering impressive gestural and psychological observation. 

Here’s a story about a group of outcasts who end up living on the streets for various reasons, and who band together to form a kind of family. In this case, our protagonists seem to replicate a traditional nuclear family but what a transformation!  The anchoring trans matriarch, the wino mate with a perhaps once-glorious past, the rebel-with-a-cause girl-boy child, and… what is this? A new-born baby found in the garbage?

Tokyo Godfathers does not romanticise homelessness, and we are not spared the brutality and suffering that the poorest among us are subjected to. Precisely because of their dire circumstances, their nobility and charm, and their principled, humane behaviour, shines like pure gold among the squalor.

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