8 June 2016



Hmmm. This marvellous award-winning Japanese film should probably come with a warning. Something along the lines of: 'This film should only be watched by persons equipped with breasts and vaginas.' In other words, it's probably the girliest chick flick ever made and any guy forced to sit through it by his wife or girlfriend will almost certainly demand sex in return.

And not just regular sex, either. Oh no. This'd be the kind of special sex he normally only gets on his birthday. And he'd deserve it, goddammit...! Most men are just not made to handle this level of girliness. Even the bloke that makes it to the end of the film will probably still need a good-sized transfusion of testosterone afterwards to return him to his normal manly self.

The plot of the film is simple enough. Three sisters in their twenties are all living together in their family home in a place called Kamakura in Japan. Their parents are long since divorced, which is how the three girls come to be fending for themselves without a mum or dad to hold things together. They're doing all right, but a little advice or guidance from an older person wouldn't go astray nonetheless as their lives are not entirely perfect.

At the start of the film, we find out that the girls' dad has passed away. He was on his third wife at the time of his death, the randy sod. He's leaving behind a fourteen-year-old daughter, Suzu, by his second wife who is seemingly now deceased. The three sisters, the daughters of dad's first marriage, travel to the countryside for their father's funeral and meet Suzu, who's sweet and shy.

The poor girl is not looking forward to spending the rest of her life in the care of her dad's third wife. She eagerly accepts the eldest sister Sachi's offer of a home for life with her and her siblings. That's really what the film is all about, Suzu's coming to live with the three sisters and having a lovely time of it because everyone's so nice and no-one really argues or fights with anyone else.

There's not much conflict in the film, just some mild ripples that barely seem to break the surface of the four girls' lives. Sachi, the beautiful eldest daughter, works as a nurse and is having an affair with a married man who feeds her full of bullshit, basically. I would have loved to have seen this relationship played out a bit more but, sadly, it wasn't to be.

Likewise with the second sister, Yoshino. She makes a joke of drinking too much and sleeping with different guys but that's not really something to joke about, is it? I would have loved to see her getting her head and her life together (or at least trying to) but the film-makers, in their infinite wisdom, decided against going down that route. The youngest sister Chika- the youngest before Suzu came along, that is- is dating a guy who seems something of a loser but any possible hint of conflict just trails off.

The sisters are all fine with the arrival of Suzu. Suzu herself worries that they'll resent her because her mum was the woman who broke up the girls' parents' marriage. There's no hostility or animosity towards her from that quarter, however. Even the girls' mum, when she comes to visit, is fine with the presence of Suzu. So, that being the case, what exactly happens for the one hundred and twenty-eight minutes of the film...?

Basically, there's lots and lots of footage of the girls cooking traditional Japanese food and eating it companionably together by the permanently open garden door. Their patch of garden is beautiful. I wish I had a garden like that. They chat and laugh and confide in each other and paint each others' toenails and squeal with horror when a cricket crawls in the bath with them. They also light the traditional hana-bi or fireworks in the back garden and exclaim with delight and glee over them.

There's some gorgeous scenery to be viewed and some stunning views of the sea. The scene where Sachi and her absentee mother walk in the rain together and come to a sort of understanding with each other is a real tearjerker, especially for any woman who's ever had a conflict with her mother, which I'm guessing is every woman ever. I'm including myself in that number. You see how well I know women. And mothers...!

OUR LITTLE SISTER is out on Blu-Ray and DVD on 13th June 2016, courtesy of CURZON: ARTIFICIAL EYE. It's the perfect girlie film for a girlie night in amongst girls and women but- and I'm not gonna lie to you, as per usual- I don't think guys will dig this too much. Chicks will, though, and that's all that matters.

The film's been described as being both 'Exquisite' and 'Full of quiet joy and simple pleasures,' so if that's your thing, you go get it asap. Enjoy, you guys. Or should I say, you gals...! xxx 


Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:


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