A Distant Neighborhood ★★★★

A strangely entrancing film that captures the hidden sadness of life.

By happenchance, a modern day comic book writer is whisked away to his younger self, and given a second chance of reliving his past memories. Based on a manga written by Jiro Taniguchi. A Distant Neighborhood is a superb film that allows the audience to empathize with it's cast of characters. We follow Thomas Verniaz as he tries piece together why his father left him during his youth. With Thomas' memories and maturation intact -- it allows him to see his childhood from a completely different perspective -- he seems to be much more caring and observant of his family, than when he was with them the first time. Given a second chance, Thomas takes a this opportunity to appreciate and learn more about his family. He cares for his sister without embarrassment. Encourages his mother to live more freely, and engages earnestly with his father. Thomas knows his father will leave their family, but he needs to know why. He pokes and prods his father, taking any opportunity he can to talk with him. Thomas feels if he gets to know his father more it can help reveal why his father chooses to leave. Ultimately, we are left with a bitter sweet ending. Does Thomas truly understand why his father left? I'm not too sure, but maybe his father doesn't know either. Still, in the end, Thomas is provided with the closure he was seeking from the beginning -- which is better than most can ask for. A Distant Neighborhood is a deep, personal drama for quiet night alone.