Spain, 1966, a high-school English/Latin teacher, Antonio, drives to Almeria in hopes of meeting his hero, John Lennon. Along the way, Antonio picks up two runaways. The movie title, Living... See full summary »
Natalia de Molina,
Life isn't easy for a group of high school kids growing up absurd in Japan's pervasive pop/cyber culture. As they negotiate teen badlands- school bullies, parents from another planet, lurid... See full summary »
A 21-year-old girl is released from prison, only to deal with the neighborhood gossip about her and family conflicts. She decides to save one million yen, move to where no one knows her and keep repeating the process.
Genji and his victorious G.P.S. alliance find themselves facing down a new challenge by the students of Hosen Academy, feared by everyone as 'The Army of Killers.' The two schools, in fact,... See full summary »
After losing his parents in a car accident, Mukesh stays at his Aunt's house in Delhi. Enrolled in a good for nothing course in college he finds peace by playing chess at the local cemetery... See full summary »
A prison guard seeks happiness and redemption from his duty on death row
Faceless bureaucrats shuffle paperwork posing innumerable hanko stamps that mark the moment a life will be terminated. The life is that of illustrator Shinichi Kaneda. We don't and we won't know what crime he committed, and it does not matter. The eye of the camera compares him to a little ant crawling on the tatami, whose life is casually snatched away by a well-meaning hotel maid.
From a novel by Akira Yoshimura, "Vacation" will surprise anyone familiar with American prison dramas (or perhaps with the prison system itself) to the point of looking almost alien. Toru Hirai, is one of the prison guards, imprisoned by his job, who volunteers unsavory duty of assisting in the death of a man in exchange a one week vacation for his honeymoon, and above all to connect to an adoptive son that rejects him as his new father.
We are with Kaneda even when he is not present. Time ticks towards his execution, and the film moves nervously back and forth in time leaving pauses and silences that make the confrontation with what is happening on the screen inevitable. Kaneda cries and drinks his last glass of water. Toru , the prison guard, looks on as powerless and resigned as the spectator. The result is a poetic, but tale of redemption, and an outstanding movie about the death penalty with surprisingly little melodrama.
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