Directed by Naoko Ogigami
Teddy Special Jury Award, 2017 Berlin International Film Festival
Audience Award, 2017 Udine Far East Film Festival
Eleven-year-old Tomo is used to taking care of herself. Her irresponsible mother disappears without notice for days or months at a time. Hiding behind a stoic face and silent demeanor, Tomo’s used to the neglect. It helps that she can always turn to her hard-working and caring uncle Makio, who now lives with his new partner, a transgender woman named Rinko. With gentle curiosity and an open heart, Tomo and Rinko develop a bond which they hope will lead to the warmth and maternal love for which both have been longing.
Tomo is young enough to be flexible in her ideas of gender, but old enough to be actively curious and ask applicable questions in order to learn. Centering on a child is a beautiful way for writer-director Naoko Ogigami to slowly bring in the Rinko character as she grows in significance to the story, from her family history to her loving preoccupation with knitting – for her more than a hobby but a way to triumph over hate. Full of compassion, empathy, nurturing, trust, and comedy, CLOSE-KNIT weaves a portrait of family built on unconditional love and a hope for a future without fear or prejudice. –James Paguyo
Co-Presented by: National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum