Thicker Than Water

Most of these six works about families are mediocre student productions by novices lacking the necessary aesthetic distance from their subjects. Yuri Makino's Tokyo Equinox (2003) chronicles her visit with her dad in Japan, using hackneyed slow motion and freeze-frames intercut with sumo wrestling scenes (huh?). Giovanna Chesler's Hand-some (2003) is worse: in recording her sister's relationship with another woman, Chesler incorporates her pauses and lapses, turning her inability to make sense into the central subject. The sole bright spot is Sue-Yeon Jung's Waiting for Spring (2003), about two aged Korean sisters, one in Los Angeles and the other in Seoul, seen through a patient camera that genuinely respects the slowed rhythms and physical awkwardness of the very old. 104 min.

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