Noko Ogigami; Japan; 127 min. in Japanese with English subtitles
CLOSE-KNIT, reportedly the very first transgender-centered film made in Japan, explores the everyday struggles of Rinku (TomaIkuta), a transgender Japanese woman, through the perspective of Tomo, a lonely, neglected youth (Rinka Kakihara) seeking solace and a stable home when her mother abandons her. Tomo’s frustrations begin to be channeled when Rinku shares her skill at knitting. The concept of the “chosen family” looms large in this painfully tender and wistfully photographed tale of love in a time of great strife, which also peels back the layers of provincial Japanese transphobia.
CONTENT WARNING: DEPICTION OR DISCUSSION OF SELF-HARM, NUDITY