Giovanni's Island

Synopsis: In the aftermath of the most devastating conflict mankind had ever experienced, the tiny island of Shikotan became part of the Sakhalin Oblast... and on the unhealed border in this remote corner of the world, friendship among children from two different countries timidly blossomed, striving to overcome language barriers and the waves of history. Inspired by true events.
Director(s): Mizuho Nishikubo
  1 win & 2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
102 min

A Japan Association of Music Enterprises

50th Anniversary Project "But what is it that will make

people happy?" continued Giovanni. "I don't know,"

Campanella muttered. "Anyway, we're going to hold on!"

said Giovanni with an explosion of breath as if his chest were brimming

with new-found energy. from Kenji Miyazawa's

"Night on the Galactic Railroad" How many years

have passed since then? That was the year

we travelled to Shikotan, the island where

we once lived. To our old home,

full of so many memories. To our lost island. Miss Sawako, we're almost

at the island. So we are. We've finally come back.

What's it been, 50 years? It brings back a lot

of memories, doesn't it? Not for me. I get rid of things I don't want

to remember with an eraser. Can you, though? I suppose not. You can't get rid of them. I can't forget,

even if I want to. I'm sure it's the same

for you, Junpei. I suppose it is. Our old home. The island

where stars fall to Earth. The island of the Galactic Railroad.

Giovanni and Campanella's island. - July, 1945...

- July, 1945. Eggs, eggs, eggs, eggs... Over here! Look at me!

Look at me! No one's home! - You can have the floaters, Kanta!

- No fair, Brother! Got 'em. The floaters are the ones

that are about to hatch! Here's your eggs back! Sorry to bother you... July 4, 1945 - Hey, wait!

- Hurry! - Good afternoon, ladies!

- Hi, Junpei! - Delivery, ma'am!

- It's so big! Look! - Delivery, ma'am!

- Thank you, Kanta. Have a good day, everyone! - Hello!

- Hello! - Hey, boys!

- I wish I had their energy! Cock-a-doodle-doo! - We're home!

- We're home! - Oh, there you are.

- That smells so good! - I'll cook you up some.

- I'll help! Good boy. Galactic Railroad, now departing! All board who's coming aboard! Hurry, we're now departing! Depart station! Campanella, hop on!

Hurry! Wait for me, Giovanni! Next stop is Cygnus Station! Cygnus Station! GIOVANNI'S ISLAND Air raid alert!

This is an air raid alert! More than 100 dive bombers

are advancing towards Nemuro! Make for the air raid

shelter immediately! Air raid alert!

This is an air raid alert! I wonder if the Dawn Corps boys up in

the mountains will shoot them down? Darn it all. I think they're up too high

for their guns to reach. - Let's go to the shelter.

- Hurry. - Dad!

- Dad! - Hurry and get to the shelter.

- Yes, sir. Father, look after the boys. Don't worry, son. My father was the commander

of the island's defense forcr. Well, in fact the real soldiers,

called the Dawn Corps, are holed up

in the mountains. He was basically the head of

the village's fire brigade. The war's finally come

all the way up here... Nemuro is burning... August 15, 1945 - What did His Majesty say?

- I couldn't hear very well... - It's over...

- The war is over. August 1 5th. Japan... was defeated. Dad... Don't worry. Even if the war is lost, as long

as we have our island... As long as our people are still alive,

the country will never fall. What's going to happen

to the country now? The Americans will come

and make everybody into slaves. What? Those Yanks are

red devils, after all. You're joking... There's no telling what they'll do

to you womenfolk if you don't hide. You better paint your faces black

to look like men. Stop trying to scare me! Well, I'm off. Even if we've lost the war,

a fisherman has to fish. I'll have Kanta

do it today. Kanta, will you

read this for us? Yes, sir. "'What on earth can I do

for their happiness?' Giovanni, completely despondent,

hung his head. 'Who's to say it wasn't for the best?

However painful a thing might be..."' Our father loved Kenji Miyazawa's

"Night on the Galactic Railroad". After I started primary school, he had me read it out loud

almost every day, too. He said that our mother loved

this book when she was alive. We were named after

the characters, too. Junpei comes from "Giovanni,"

and Kanta from "Campanella." September 1 , 1 945 - Miss Sawako, good morning!

- Good morning! Good morning, Junpei, Kanta. Ma'am, do you think the

Americans will come? Our grandpa said that the women

should run and hide! Miss Sawako doesn't have to worry!

They're only after young girls! What's that supposed

to mean, Junpei? - Stay down, everyone!

- Junpei! It's blanks!

They're firing blanks! Stay calm, everyone!

We're fine! Look at that flag! That's not the Americans!

It's the Soviets! Soviet soldiers are called "Russkies"!

They kill bears with their bare hands! - Take your seats, everyone.

- Yes, ma'am. - Ma'am!

- Yes, what is it? I hear the Iwasakis and Komanos fled.

Shouldn't we run away, too? It's all right. In times like this,

we must remain calm and collected. We mustn't panic. Yes, ma'am. Miss Sawako! Look! - It's the Russkies!

- Look at that gun! Miss Sawako... Everything will be fine. Stay calm.

Children, take your seats! Focus only on me. Can you do that? 0.5... Go outside! All of you! Please leave the room.

We're in the middle of a lesson. All right, can anyone

solve this problem? Junpei, then. Please come up to the board

and solve this problem. Junpei? Do you know the answer, Junpei? Yes, ma'am. Stop right now! What's the matter? These people aren't obeying,

Comrade Major. What do you want?! Here you are, lad. Thank you... - We're leaving.

- Comrade Major? It's so fast! Kanta, don't! Junpei... The Dawn Corps

had been disarmed and had come down

to the village. Poor devils. If they're sent to Siberia,

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Shigemichi Sugita

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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