Juhani, 14 years old and tormented by a childhood trauma, has changed several foster parents from the age of eight. He is taken to an island, where there is a boys' home, run by a strict ... See full summary »
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 »
Jackie works as a CCTV operator. Each day she watches over a small part of the world, protecting the people living their lives under her gaze. One day a man appears on her monitor, a man she thought she would never see again, a man she never wanted to see again. Now she has no choice, she is compelled to confront him.
Still Walking is a family drama about grown children visiting their elderly parents, which unfolds over one summer day. The aging parents have lived in the family home for decades. Their ... See full summary »
Accepting a prize, architect Georg Winter explains that an architect has the good fortune of measuring every completed building against the rightness of his original idea. Soon Georg ... See full summary »
Constantly on the run from a vicious loan shark, two small-time con artists, Take and Tetsu, plan their biggest and most complex con yet in order to get revenge and retire from a life of ... See full summary »
Shou's father Norio finds his son in a rather meaningless existence in Tokyo dominated by alcohol and porn videos. Having left home two years earlier to pursue life as a musician, Shou has ... See full summary »
Majime, an eccentric man in publishing company, who has unique ability of words, joins the team that will compile a new dictionary, 'The Great Passage.' In the eclectic team, he becomes ... See full summary »
"Aoi Tori" is a movie about bullying in Japan. A student transferred to another school after an attempted suicide caused by constant bullying from his classmates. The movie starts with a substitute teacher (Abe Hiroshi) arriving to the junior high school, and brings the transfer student's desk back into the classroom. This inevitably causes friction and conflicts between the teacher and students (and their parents).
As I expected, acting was superb. Abe Hiroshi was great as usual in quirky roles, this time a stuttering teacher. He successfully depicted the earnest teacher who was eager to teacher what is right and wrong to his students. He spoke very little, but his words had weighed heavily on me. Hongou Kanata, who I believe often fall victim to poor casting, was actually perfect for his role this time. Interactions between Abe and Hongou were wonderful.
Music for this movie, especially the theme song was just simply amazing. Really sets the mood for this movie.
I guess I was a bully in elementary school (I attended in Japan). Just like the kids in this movie, I didn't realize what I was doing was bullying and how little jokes were really causing pain to others until the guy stopped showing up to school. "Aoi Tori" explored what bullying really was, and that the current standard system in Japan, basically writing a "letter of repentance" is ineffective corrective action to bullying and other problems.
The message this movie conveyed in the very end really struck my heart. That we should never get over our sins, never forget it and take responsibility in our actions, and live with the burden for rest of our lives. Tears just wouldn't stop flowing out of my eyes as the theme song started playing in the end. Where "School Days with a Pig" had failed, this film taught an important lesson in life. Easy 10/10.
On a side note, this is my 100th review on IMDb, I'm a little surprised I've written so many reviews, mostly on Japanese movies, in just 2 years. Especially since I only comment on movies that left strong enough impression on me to write at least 10 lines (IMDb requirement). All my reviews are based on my personal opinions and often consist of my personal reflections, but I hope there are people out there who find my reviews helpful, and I hope I can continue to write hundreds more in the future.
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