121 minutes, France-Japan-Spain, 2014, Colour, Subtitles, D-Cinema

This film was released on Friday 3rd July 2015 and is no longer screening.

On the subtropical island of Amami-Oshima, in the aftermath of a typhoon, 16-year-old Kaito (Nijiro Murakami) finds the body of a dead man floating in the sea. He confides in his classmate Kyoko (Jun Yoshinaga), as they have bonded because of upheavals in their respective family lives. Kyoko’s mother is terminally ill, while Kaito’s father has gone to Tokyo, leaving his mother alone and distraught.

The pair find consolation in each other’s company as they struggle to understand the adult world they are preparing to enter. Containing a scene of animal slaughter that may disturb some, Naomi Kawase’s depiction of isolated village life is thoughtful, poetic and sumptuous, though the beautifully filmed flora and fauna does not detract from the sweet, humane and universal coming-of-age story, a deeply moving one that sees its two young protagonists dealing with loss, loneliness and love. (Notes by Michael Hayden.)

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