Yuki & Nina


Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on January 2010

©Yoshi OMORI

©Yoshi Omori

Co-directed by acclaimed Japanese auteur Nobuhiro Suwa and French actor/director Hippolyte Girardot, this finely crafted film is one of the few recent international collaborations to bring out the best in everyone involved. Yuki (Noë Sampy) is a 9-year-old-girl living in Paris with her Japanese mother (Tsuyu) and French father (Girardot). Her idyllic world with best friend Nina (Arielle Moutel) is threatened when she learns her parents will divorce and that she must move to Japan. When Yuki and Nina fail in their attempts to bring the parents back together, the two run off to Nina’s father’s house in the woods. Told with poetic simplicity and cinema vérité touches, the world of the kids feels extremely real, yet also infused with a certain magical realism. The young actors are superb, especially Sampy—the audience sees the world entirely from her perspective. This charmer of a film will reward those prepared to enter the troubled world of childhood. Note: dialogue is about 70 percent French and 30 percent Japanese, with Japanese subtitles. (93 min)