Film – Close Knit

Film – Close Knit

Watched on board ANA flight to Tokyo June 2017

Having started watching this on my flight to Tokyo, I nearly missed the end as I paused for a meal break. I was thrilled to see it was still showing on the return trip as I could already see it is a beautiful film.

Tomo, an 11 year old girl in Tokyo starts living with her uncle and his transgender partner after her dysfunctional mum continually leaves her alone and lonely one too many times.

Uncle Makio’s girlfriend Rinko, who has already had her operations to change into a women, sends her off to school with a lovingly prepared bento box. Tomo is intrigued by this gesture as her mum ordinarily leaves her ready-made shop-bought snacks or money on the kitchen table. But from the moment the smile spreads on her face as she opens her lunch box to see rice balls made into Hello Kitty faces and sausages made into little men figures, I know this is going to be a divine relationship.

‘God made a mistake’

Close Knit refers also to Rinko teaching young Tomo to knit as a way of calming her temperamental nature. There is something symbolic in her knitting loads of phallic shapes and she includes Tomo to experience her journey to legally become a women. The film looks at the prejudices Rinko faces, involving the equivalent of child protection services and a young boy at Tomo’s class who is showing gay tendencies which, his mother, is desperately trying to surpress.

Throughout we see the love between the three characters that form this unconventional and yet stable family.


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