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Japanese directors who film in foreign locations often find themselves out of their cultural and linguistic depth. The non-Japanese characters are stereotypes and the foreign-language dialogue is hokey. Meanwhile, the exotic setting serves only as a cliched backdrop for the Japanese protagonists, the true focus of the exercise.

But in “The Truth” (Original title: “La verite”), his first film set abroad, Hirokazu Kore-eda proves that he can step out of his comfort zone — the Japanese family drama — into another culture without wrong-footing it.

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