One of the best things about living in Chicago is access to culture from across the globe. As Chicago anime fans, this fact gives us unique opportunities to learn more about Japan and the people who create the anime we love. One avenue of this cultural exchange is film, and this spring, there’s great a opportunity to see some amazing Japanese movies right here in Chicago.
Asian Pop-up Cinema has been bringing Asian films to Chicagoland since 2015. In its upcoming sixth season, Asian Pop-up Cinema is showcasing more Japanese films than ever. The first film this season is the Chicago premiere of Close Knit on March 5. The movie follows Tomo, a young girl who moves in with her uncle after being neglected by her mother. Tomo is used to staying with her uncle under such circumstances, but she surprised to learn that her uncle now lives with his partner, a trans woman. The trio learns to function as a unorthodox yet loving family in a community that does not always value this novel family unit.
So, what makes this film such an opportunity for anime fans in particular? It gives another perspective on many themes often present in anime. The most obvious is the depiction of trans and gender nonconforming people in Japan. Anime and other Japanese television frequently have characters whose dress and behavior contradict what is normally expected for their biological sex. In many cases, these characters are portrayed very positively, but is this visibility in media reflective of acceptance in society?
Of course, no film can fully answer this question or completely capture the experiences of real people, but watching Close Knit will give you a broader picture and more to consider concerning the relationship between Japanese media and Japanese culture. Check out the details below, and see you there!
Close Knit Screening
Monday, March 5 at 8pm
Gene Siskel Film Center
164 N. State Street Chicago, IL 60601
You can also get a special box office rate by purchasing tickets at the theater!