A young college student lives with her single mother, and wonders when she’ll ever have a boyfriend. But how do young women attract young boys other than with their chest? When Chinatsu hit puberty, her mum refused to buy her a bra. From there, only humiliation surrounded the concept of breasts. And when Chinatsu’s crush mentioned her boobs getting bigger, that was the worst. Ever since, she has held anger toward her mother, and has had a complicated relationship with the concept of  womanhood. To pour salt in her wounds, a routine mammogram reveals she is the carrier of a cancerous lump. Shingo Matsumura’s The Lump in my Heart uses the tumor as a symbol of Chinatsu’s repressed emotions.

Instead of hyperfocusing on cancer tropes, Matsumura gives Chinatsu a platform to express herself. To grow up. To show up for herself. All her life, she has begrudgingly followed what her mother and others have told her to do. Through daily challenges with relationships (with others as well as with herself), she sees the need to start acting upon her deepest thoughts.

Don’t be deterred by the heavy subject matter. Juvenile breast cancer is dealt with in a respectful and light way. It might still make the viewer cry a little, but it’s with bittersweetness.


The Lump in my Heart – 3:40 PM JST, October 29th, 2022 (Please note, screening times are in Japan Standard Time)