“Miraï, my little sister”, on France 4 CultureBox: childish psyche on grand spectacle

France 4 CultureBox</p>Saturday 30 - 9:10 p

“Miraï, my little sister”, on France 4 CultureBox: childish psyche on grand spectacle

France 4 CultureBox

Saturday 30 - 9:10 p.m.


For a moment, you think you're trapped in a honeypot. Everything is cutesy, the music, the graphics, the situations. A montage of photos tells the love story of a couple of young Japanese people, he an architect, she a stylist, who settle into a pretty house in a district of Yokohama. A little boy, Kun, is born. Everything is ordinary, idyllic, it almost looks like an advertisement for a family car. And if we didn't know that this film came from the imagination of Mamoru Hosoda, the author of The Wolf Children, we would give up.

But this prologue is only an airlock that leads to a world populated by monsters and marvelous creatures, an unstable world subject to earthquakes caused by emotions: the psyche of a little 4-year-old boy who has nothing extraordinary, if not for having come out of one of the most fertile imaginations of contemporary cinema.

As if he came from a cross between Hayao Miyazaki and Doctor Spock (the pediatrician), Mamoru Hosoda once again slips into the skin of a child, not so much to understand him as to give, with the intention from the rest of the world, a form perceptible to this determining and often forgotten period, an intimate and free story.

Constitution of a conscience

At the age of 4, Kun was deprived of his status as an only child by the birth of Miraï. Since it was his mother who looked after his early years, it was the turn of the male of the family to stay at home. The daily life implied by this new order is meticulously detailed. The older brother makes his younger sister responsible and develops a fierce hatred towards her. Mamoru Hosoda does not practice criticism or social satire. It simply indicates to what extent the presence of a man in the house deviates from the norm, it shows a modern family, but attached to the traditions of Japan, which releases – on the scheduled date – the imperial figurines for the revere.

Within this enclosed space, the boy's resentment finds an outlet in the fantastic world which arises during a particularly violent anger. Suddenly, in the family's tiny garden, apparitions appear to Kun. A human avatar of the family dog ​​explains to him that he himself was the victim of a theft during the birth of the little boy; soon, it is an adolescent incarnation of the hated baby who tries to bring the child back on the path of family harmony.

This return to normal proves difficult, and it is in this difficulty, in this pain, that Mamoru Hosoda unfolds his story. What interests him here is the staging of the constitution of a consciousness. His formidable visual imagination – it is based on traditional imagery as well as on digital culture – allows him to represent the transitions from reality to fantasy, to nightmare, even to a collective memory which is as much about animism as cult ancestors. All that for a little boy.