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Canary (Japan Version - English Subtitles) DVD Region 2

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Canary (Japan Version - English Subtitles)
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YesAsia Editorial Description

12-year-old Koichi lives in a campsite run by a religious cult "Nirvana" with his mother and his younger sister Asako. After the dissolution of the cult his mother goes missing, and he and his sister are transferred to a child counseling center. One day his grandfather comes to the center, takes only Asako, and leaves. Longing to see his mother and sister, Koichi runs away from the center. On the way to his grandfather's place in Tokyo, he comes across a girl called Yuki who is trying to get away from her father's domestic violence. They head to Tokyo together, helping each other.
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Technical Information

Product Title: Canary (Japan Version - English Subtitles) Canary (日本版 - 英文字幕) Canary (Japan Version - English Subtitles) カナリア Canary (Japan Version - English Subtitles)
Artist Name(s): Shiota Akihiko | Ishida Hoshi | Tanimura Mitsuki | Nishijima Hidetoshi | Ryo | Koda Mayako | Mizuhashi | Toda Masahiro | Tsugumi 鹽田明彥 | 石田法嗣 | 谷村美月 | 西島秀俊 | Ryo | 甲田益也子 | 水橋研二 | 戶田昌宏 | Tsugumi 盐田明彦 | 石田法嗣 | 谷村美月 | 西岛秀俊 | Ryo | 甲田益也子 | 水桥研二 | 户田昌宏 | Tsugumi 塩田明彦 | 石田法嗣 | 谷村美月 | 西島秀俊 | りょう | 甲田益也子 | 水橋研二 | 戸田昌宏 | つぐみ | 井上雪子 Shiota Akihiko | Ishida Hoshi | Tanimura Mitsuki | Nishijima Hidetoshi | Ryo | Koda Mayako | Mizuhashi | Toda Masahiro | Tsugumi
Director: Shiota Akihiko 鹽田明彥 盐田明彦 塩田明彦 Shiota Akihiko
Release Date: 2005-10-28
Publisher Product Code: BCBJ-2318
Language: Japanese
Place of Origin: Japan
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: 2 - Japan, Europe, South Africa, Greenland and the Middle East (including Egypt) What is it?
Duration: 132 (mins)
Other Information: DVD
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1004057708

Product Information

[アーティスト/ キャスト]
塩田明彦 (監督、脚本) / 石田法嗣 / 谷村美月


製作国 : 日本 (Japan)
公開年 : 2004

4つ年下の妹、朝子だけを引き取っていく。母の行方はわからないままだ。光一は偶然助けた少女・由希とともに、引き離された妹と母を取り戻すため、東京にいる祖父の元へと向かう。^.^ ワゴン車で旅をする謎めいた二人の女性・咲樹と梢、《ニルヴァーナ》で子どもたちの教育係だった伊沢…、さまざまな形で「家族」を作ろうとしている大人たちに助けられながら、光一と由希は旅をつづける。互いに反発し合いながらも、次第に心を開き、絆を結んでいく二人。だがその先には、自分たちの運命を大きく揺さぶる出来事が待ち受けていた…。

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Canary (Japan Version - English Subtitles)"

November 28, 2005

For years now the talk of cults has touched on wounds for the Japanese population, following the 1995 Aum cult gas attack on Tokyo. Consequently, a number of Japanese films have very effectively looked at the stories of individuals and groups associated with these cults. These films have been among the most breathtakingly touching and poignant in contemporary Japanese Cinema. Canary (or Kanaria) is one such film, looking at the journey of twelve year old Koichi, his struggles while living in the Nirvana cult, and his adaptation to life outside the cult.

At this point, it must be stressed that Canary is not a film focussed primarily on the cult. Shiota has crafted a film that portrays the journey that Koichi goes on to re-establish a normal life for himself. Shiota shows Koichi's rebirth into normal society as he travels from Kyoto to Tokyo in order to retrieve his baby sister, who is living with Koichi's estranged grandfather. Along the way, Koichi comes across twelve year old Yuki, a desperate young girl who is also wishing to escape her abusive past.

The journey from Kyoto to Tokyo provides the opportunity for Koichi and Yuki to get to know each other. As they travel, they face struggles that test their ability to cope in society and with each other. Along the way, the two children come across bizarre characters that act as metaphors to the relationship that Koichi and Yuki share, such as the sadistic lesbian couple that the two encounter early in the film. Ultimately, the struggles and supporting characters push Koichi and Yuki to accept each other, their pasts and their fates, allowing the audience to clearly see their mental states change as the film progresses.

One element that makes Canary so powerful is the film's subject matter. Shiota shows us glimpses of the Nirvana cult life through a series of Koichi's dreams and flashbacks. It is in these flashbacks that Shiota really excels as a filmmaker. The representation of the Nirvana cult life is most detailed, providing a fantastic addition to Koichi's characterization, explaining his bizarre behaviour and his difficulties communicating with others. Moreover, the way that Shiota portrays the cult provides the film with an extremely saddening, lonely and alienating effect. This ultimately absorbs you further into the film and Koichi's personality.

Another reason why Canary succeeds is because of the brilliant performances given by the film's young actors, Hoshi Ishida (Koichi) and Mitsuki Tanimura (Yuki). Tanimura, provides an outstanding performance, coming across as absolutely desperate at times. Her ability to understand the finer details of her character are remarkable, especially the scenes dealing with prostitution, abuse and paedophilia.

However, Canary isn't without its flaws. At times, the film is paced rather clumsily and the mood changes rather quickly. Moreover, Shiota's conclusion to the film seems somewhat ill conceived, almost slipping into abstract symbolism, making the fate of the characters rather ambiguous. However, in light of the film's other outstanding elements these flaws don't really detract from the overall quality of this filmic offering.

8.5 sharpened screw drivers out of 10

by Jason Dow -

This original content has been created by or licensed to, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of
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