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Swimming beyond

When awarded director Hirokazu Kore-eda meets swimming champ Rikako Ikee, the outcome is a different take on what mingles sports and life: an inspiring message, hopefully in sight of the Olympic Games.

by Nanban

For those who love and admire the work of Hirokazu Koreeda, the director of Shoplifters, Our Little Sister, Like Father, Like Son, just to name the most renowned ones, a director who embodies much of the aesthetic and sensibility of today Japanese cinematography, even a short film could be an exquisite surprise.

And when it talks about sports, life, the accidents that often come, the will to survive and go beyond, even finding the space to experiment with another Japanese ambassador, animation, it becomes a small but unskippable must-see.

The title is The Center Lane and in a few strokes it tells the story of Rikako Ikee, Japanese swimming champion suddenly struck, at the young age of 18, by leukemia: a battle that brings her temporarily out of the water, a won battle which, rather than thrust her spirit, brings her closer to the essence of her adventure as a swimmer and as a human being.

A delicate account, as it is in Koreeda's manner, which in sight of the upcoming Olympic Games, highlights the universe of sensations and emotions that govern the world of athletes and that express their gesture.

A short film that is also a successful experiment, which mixes live images with long animated sequences, made by Masanobu Hiraoka. In short, a must see.