Kanaria   2005   Japan Canary
Canary Image Cover
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Director:Akihiko Shiota
Writer:Akihiko Shiota
IMDb Rating:7.0 (180 votes)
Awards:1 win
Duration:132 min
Akihiko Shiota  ...  (Director)
Akihiko Shiota  ...  (Writer)
Hoshi Ishida  ...  Koichi Iwase
Mitsuki Tanimura  ...  Yuki Niina
Hidetoshi Nishijima  ...  Akira Izawa
Miyako Koda  ...  Michiko Iwase
Noriko Eguchi  ...  Kimura
Yukiko Inoue  ...  Old Woman
Michié  ...  Garusha
Kenji Mizuhashi  ...  Junana
Ryô  ...  Saki
Tôru Shinagawa  ...  Koichi's grandfather
Masahiro Toda  ...  Yoshioka
Tsugumi  ...  Kozue
Yutaka Yamasaki  ...  Cinematographer
Yoshihide Ohtomo  ...  Composer
Comments: Another film by Akihiko Shiota, director of Harmful Insect. It had some moments but nothing special for me. I'm not sure what to think of Shiota at this point. I appreciate what he is trying to explore: disaffected, abused and neglected youth and all that, but I'm not convinced he's good at it yet. Harmful Insect would have been a lot less interesting without Aoi Miyazaki. I think Mitsuki Tanimura did a good job in Canary, Hoshi Ishida not so much, but his character was the brooding, doesn't-say-much type, which is difficult for a teenager to pull off (unless you're Aoi Miyazaki).

I will confess that the cultural pointers were lost on me ... so there's that, I mean, if they were supposed to be specific. Cultural historians and professional film critics (and Japanese folks) might enjoy this film more than I did. I'm not giving upon Shiota but I'm also not ready to call him a director to look out for.

Summary: 12-year-old Koichi lives in a campsite run by a religious cult "Nirvana" with his mother and his younger sister Asako. After the dissolution of the cult his mother goes missing, and he and his sister are transferred to a child counseling center. One day his grandfather comes to the center, takes only Asako, and leaves. Longing to see his mother and sister, Koichi runs away from the center. On the way to his grandfather's place in Tokyo, he comes across a girl called Yuki who is trying to get away from her father's domestic violence. They head to Tokyo together, helping each other.

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