Two siblings live together in the margins of society. The brother Yoshio has an injured leg and has difficulty walking, the sister Mariko has a mental disability and spends the majority of her time shackled in the shed where they call home. When Yoshio loses his job, he crosses all boundaries and sells his sister’s body to make money for food and rent, which leads to consequences he cannot foresee. –Freddy Olsson (Goteborg Film Festival)
Director Katayama Shinzo’s blistering feature-length debut is a hard look at marginalized people driven to desperation for survivable both as victims of their disability and equally exploiters of it. Mariko, played by Wada Misa, is perhaps a soul sister to Moon So-ri’s Gong-ju in Lee Chang-dong’s Oasis, both of whom display remarkable human beauty in contrast to the uncaring world in which they exist. The morally questionable actions of Yoshio and the men of their community, as the Japanese Film Festival Australia writes, “raises many questions about the moral and physical treatment of vulnerable people, and the importance of having the freedom to explore one’s own sexual and romantic desires versus the ability to give informed consent.”
Despite, or perhaps due to, the movie’s difficult subject matter Siblings of the Cape received the Audience Award and the Best Picture Award at the 2018 SKIP City International D-Cinema Festival was invited to numerous international film festivals including the Göteborg Film Festival, Geneva International Film Festival and the Taipei Film Festival.