Boy's Choir - Widescreen Subtitle - VHS
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Former assistant director to Sogo Ishii, Akira Ogata makes his debut with this complex coming of age drama about a pair of orphans obsessed with choir singing. Set during the political tumult of the 1970s, the film focuses on Michio (Atsushi Ito), a stuttering, socially-inept 15-year-old. Michio's quiet childhood is cut short with the death of his father. After clearing out his dad's photography studio, he is sent by his uncle to the militaristic Dokoritsu Orphange for Boys. There he meets and befriends the effeminate-looking Yasuo (Sora Toma), who is the lead soprano of the orphanage's choir. Singing quickly dominates both boys' lives as they prepare for the National Chorus Competition. Yet the political chaos of the times soon comes to their doorstep with the unexpected appearance of Satomi (Ryoko Takizawa), a radical on the run from the law after a couple notorious bombings. Choirmaster Seino (Teruyuki Kagawa), a former revolutionary himself, takes in the fugitive and shelters her for a spell. When she ultimately blows herself up in front of the boys while running from the cops, the two react in decidedly different ways. This film was screened at the 2000 Berlin Film Festival. ~ Jonathan Crow, Rovi