Featured image for “Kikujiro”
Shown: January 5, 2019 at 6pm

Director : Takeshi Kitano

Country : Japan

Release Date : 1999

Duration : 116 mins

Language : Japanese

Subtitles : Yes

Best known for his stylish crime dramas, actor and director Takeshi Kitano takes a left turn into more heartwarming territory with this sentimental drama. Masao is a nine-year-old boy who lives with his grandmother. His father is dead and he has no memory of his mother. One day, Masao decides it’s high time he met his mother so, armed with a photograph and an address, he sets out in search of her. Before long, he encounters Kikujiro (Takeshi), a tough guy with a sharp tongue but a kind wife who thinks it’s a bad idea for the little fellow to be travelling by himself, so Kikujiro hits the road with Masao to keep an eye on him. Masao and Kikujiro become close as they share adventures on the road, leading up to a troubling revelation about Masao’s mother and Kikujiro’s efforts to bring the child back to happiness.

Leads with Kitano’s exquisite timing and ability to mine both laughs and heartache in a single instant. It’s a gorgeous take on alienation and guardianship.”  (Brian Orndorf)