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Childhood Days (1990)
"Shonen jidai" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  12 January 1990 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 110 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 2 critic

Bombing during World War II resulted in whole urban populations fleeing to the countryside, and this created a meeting of urban and rural cultures. Shinji (a young boy evacuated from Tokyo)... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Tetsuya Fujita ...
Shinji Kazama
Yuji Horioka ...
Takeshi Ohara
Katsuhisa Yamazaki ...
Futoshi Tanabe
Noritake Kobinata ...
Kensuke Sudo
Atsuko Koyama ...
Minako Saiki
...
Shizue Kazama
Toshiyuki Hosokawa ...
Shusaku Kazama
Chôichirô Kawarasaki ...
Tatsuo Kazama
Kazuyo Mita ...
Shige Kazama
Nobuko Sendô ...
Akiko Tanabe
Mitsue Suzuki ...
Maki Kazama
Shinsuke Ashida ...
Principal
Hideji Ôtaki ...
Stationmaster
Kyosen Ôhashi ...
Photographer
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Storyline

Bombing during World War II resulted in whole urban populations fleeing to the countryside, and this created a meeting of urban and rural cultures. Shinji (a young boy evacuated from Tokyo) and his new schoolmates (who are villagers) don't exactly know what is going on in the war. They see the B-29 bombers and the glow of cities on fire, but the problems of being separated from one's mother and surviving among one's peers loom larger than international politics. Written by L.H. Wong <lhw@sfs.org.sg>

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Drama

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12 January 1990 (USA)  »

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Childhood Days  »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent coming of age Japanese drama during second World War
8 March 2013 | by (India) – See all my reviews

Childhood Days is a very realistic portrayal of bullying. And by realistic I mean that both the bully and the bullied are shown to very human instead of being good or bad. It is very refreshing for a change and also it suddenly dawned on me, how incomplete and even wrong a narrative is if you are showing a bullying preteen to be evil as most films related to this topic often do.

I guess we are used to watching fights between good and evil in all our media whether it is fairy tales, television, books, films or even religion. There has to be a protagonist and an antagonist. Thankfully Childhood Days is different in that regard.

Childhood Days depicts the problem of bullying faced by a city kid who has to temporarily move to village. But the relationship between the two boys, the bully and the bullied is very hard to pin down. There is a camaraderie mixed with fear and admiration with a sort of helplessness. It is a very real relationship which is hard to describe, just as many real relationships are. Also along with the bullying it is a very nice coming of age story.

I know that the above review may not make the film sound really good. Nevertheless it is really a gem of a film. And if you are into films of Ozu or Naruse, I would strongly recommend it.


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