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Cherry Blossoms review

A German-Japanese slow-burner about a family grown apart

Doris Dörrie’s family drama reworks Yasujiro Ozu’s classic Tokyo Story in a German-Japanese context.

An elderly couple in a Bavarian village decide to visit their grown-up children in Berlin, a married son and a lesbian daughter. But their children have grown away from them – only their daughter’s girlfriend will make time for them.

Two twists, though: the wife knows her husband’s got a fatal disease, but hasn’t told him, and the other – well, it comes about 40 minutes in and it’ll surprise you. An affectionate, gentle film, if marred by sentimentality.

Philip Kemp

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