7:30 PM, 4th September, 2014
From all the films available, 63 were selected for last year’s very successful Canberra International Film Festival. Of those, this is one of ten chosen for this semester’s program. Amongst its many festival awards Like Father, Like Son won the Jury prize at Cannes and audience awards in Vancouver and Sao Paulo. Quite a pedigree.
Two families learn the devastating news that their sons were swapped in the maternity hospital, and each has been raising the other’s biological offspring for the last six years. In trying to solve this unholy mess, one father has to face his own vulnerabilities. Ryota is a successful architect who has worked hard to provide his wife, Midori, and young son, Keita, with a lifestyle he is very proud of. They are thrust into the lives of a very different couple – a rougher, more ragtag pair – who have been raising their biological son. Ryota is forced to make an impossible decision, between nature and nurture, blood and bond, and ultimately must confront the true meaning of what it is to be a father.
The situation portrayed is every parent’s nightmare, and the film succeeds in conveying that, while also mining a deep vein of humanity and compassion, and even managing a few comic flourishes. Watch this film and consider – would you choose your natural child, or the child you believed was yours?