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From Up on Poppy Hill

(Kokuriko-zaka kara) コクリコ坂から
Japan 2011. Director: Gorō Miyazaki
Voices: Yuriko Ishida, Masami Nagasawa, Teruyuki Kagawa, Jun Fubuki, Takashi Naitô

Co-scripted by anime master Hayao Miyazaki and directed by his son Gorō Miyazaki, the latest feature from Studio Ghibli is a poignant, nostalgic coming-of-age drama adapted from a 1980 manga. The setting is 1963 in Yokohama; the beautifully, lovingly hand-drawn film brings to life the bustling seaside town with it misty harbour, sun-drenched gardens, and busy shops and markets. The story tells of the budding romance between Umi and Shun, two high-school kids caught up in the changing times. Japan is picking itself up from the devastation of World War II and preparing to host the 1964 Olympics; the mood is one of both optimism and conflict as the young generation struggles to throw off the shackles of a troubled past. While the two teens work together to save a dilapidated, Meiji-era club house from demolition, their tentative relationship begins to blossom. But — in an unexpected twist that parallels what Japan itself is facing — a buried secret from their past emerges to cast a shadow on the future and pull them apart. “Its visual magic lies in painterly compositions ... Its emotional impact comes from the way everyday life is washed in the colours of memory” (A. O. Scott, New York Times). Colour, Blu-ray Disc, in Japanese with English subtitles. 91 mins.

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*Program Guide Change: Due to circumstances beyond our control, From Up on Poppy Hill will screen on Blu-ray Disc, not 35mm as indicated in our program guide.

REVIEWS

"Frankly stunning, as beautiful a hand-drawn animated feature as you are likely to see... a time-machine dream of a not-so-distant past, a sweet and honestly sentimental story."

LA Times | full review

"Maintains an optimistic tone without succumbing to nostalgia, and as always with Studio Ghibli, the hand-drawn animation is gorgeous."

Chicago Reader | full review