Otouto (2009)

Genres - Drama  |   Run Time - 126 min.  |   Countries - Japan  |  
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Yoji Yamada directed this drama about the difficult nature of family relationships. Ginko (Sayuri Yoshinaga) is a pharmacist who after the death of her husband takes over the drugstore he opened and runs it as the family business with her daughter Koharu (Yu Aoi) and late-husband's mother (Haruko Kato). Ginko has a younger brother, Tetsuro (Tsurube Shofukutei), but they don't see each other often; he's a failed musician who scrapes together a living working at a fish stall. When Koharu gets married, Tetsuro arrives unexpectedly at the reception and makes a drunken spectacle of himself; he's scolded and sent home, and Ginko doesn't hear from him again until his girlfriend Hitomi (Midoriko Kimura) approaches Ginko some time later, pleading with her to help pay her brother's gambling debts. Tired of making excuses for her brother, Ginko cuts ties with Tetsuro and doesn't hear from until years later, when he calls her from Osaka where he's in the late stages of cancer and staying in a charity hospice. Ginko feels she has no choice but to take Tetsuro in, and show him the familial love that's been missing from his life for so long. Otouto (aka About Her Brother) was the closing night attraction at the 2010 Berlin International Film Festival.