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Original title
Kikujiro no natsu
Running time
121 min.
Japan Japan
Takeshi Kitano
Joe Hisaishi
Katsumi Yanagishima
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Bandai Visual / Tokio FM / Nippon Herald / Office Kitano
Drama. Comedy | Road Movie
Synopsis / Plot
Tokyo, the present. Masao, an only child, lives with his grandmother. His only friend leaves for his summer holiday. Finding a photograph of his mother with an address, Masao sets out to find her. Miki, a friend of his grandmother's, makes her husband, yakuza Kikujiro, accompany the child on his quest. Their first stop is the bike races where Kikujiro loses all his money, but Masao picks three winners. Kikujiro blows the winnings on an absurd cycling outfit for the boy and the rest in a hostess bar. The next day Masao is unable to repeat his trick, leaving them broke. Setting out on foot, their journey is a series of mishaps involving a paedophile who tries to molest Masao, a stolen taxi and a bus stop in the middle of nowhere. They also encounter help along the way from a hotel manager, a punk couple and a wandering poet.
Arriving at his mother's home, Masao sees her with her husband and daughter. Kikujiro tries to comfort the boy, first taking him to a fun fair where the gangster gets beaten up, and then to a bizarre beach camp with the poet and two bikers whom he makes play a series of games to amuse Masao. Kikujiro goes off on a quest of his own to see his mother who is in a home nearby. They return to Tokyo and part.
1999: Valladolid: Critic Award. Best Actor
1999: Cannes Film Festival: Nominated for Palme d'Or (Best Film)
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