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Like Grains of Sand (1995)
"Nagisa no Shindobaddo" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  16 December 1995 (Japan)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 1,118 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 4 critic

Fortunately this film isn't just another repetition of the Japanese highschool drama genre - even though all characters are students and a reference to bullying is not missing. Instead, we ... See full summary »

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Title: Like Grains of Sand (1995)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Yoshinori Okada ...
Shuji Ito
Ayumi Hamasaki ...
Kasane Aihara
Kouji Yamaguchi ...
Touru Kanbara
Kumi Takada ...
Ayako Shimizu
Shizuka Isami ...
Rika Matsuo
Kôta Kusano ...
Hiroyuki Yoshida
Yoshihiko Hakamada ...
Fujita
Bang-ho Cho ...
Teacher
Miyako Yamaguchi ...
Ms. Yoshida
Toshie Negishi ...
Ms. Nezu
Kunio Murai ...
Shuji's Father
Hiroko Anzai
Kenichiro Samejima
Kazumi Ikeda
Chiharu Ishikawa ...
Noriko Yoshida
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Storyline

Fortunately this film isn't just another repetition of the Japanese highschool drama genre - even though all characters are students and a reference to bullying is not missing. Instead, we witness the very complex relationships between Yoshida, leaving Shimizu for Aihara (or at least he tries to), and his friend Ito, whose love for Yoshida seems to have little chance for success. In the end we have a coalition of Ito and Aihara - who may or may not be in love with Ito (or with Yoshida, who knows) - teaching Yoshida a lesson. This is not a film about homosexuality either, indeed one message of the film may be that it doesn't matter if a boy loves a boy or a girl. Anyway, the complexity (even incomprehensibility) of the motivations of the characters is a most realistic and just reflection of the motivations of modern Japanese teenagers. Or in other words: the film captures exactly the same thing which Banana Yoshimoto describes in her novels; what it is however, is very difficult to say. Written by Hartmut G. Ziche

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

love | friend | japanese | teenager | japan | See more »

Genres:

Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

16 December 1995 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Like Grains of Sand  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Connections

References Mortal Kombat (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Must have an understanding of Japanese culture/film to enjoy
28 March 2006 | by (Harrow, London) – See all my reviews

A stunning and thoughtful observation on modern life for youngsters in Japan, Like Grains of Sand delves into issues such as rape, homosexuality and pubescent angst in a subtle and significant way. It gives an insight in to the youth culture struggling to define itself outside of the bounds of their parent's generation, with it's strict conformity and facade. Typical to Japanese cinema, often what isn't said is more important that what is, so to those not versed in Japanese film and culture, beware. It can seem dull and minimalistic (pretty much like every film to come out of Japan bar Mangas) if you don't know what to look for. I saw it for the first time when I was 15 and was what originally sparked my interest in Japan, it's culture and language. Considering I'm now 22 and learning Japanese with the intention of living there for 2 years, needless to say it's a powerful film. Enjoy!


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