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陽光桜

YOKO THE CHERRY BLOSSOM

The true story of Masaaki Takaoka, a rural high school teacher in the mid-20th century who dedicated his life to creating a hybrid that could bloom anywhere in the world.

The time is World War II, and, as Japan's defeat becomes imminent, Masaaki's beloved students are ordered to join the imperial forces' last-ditch efforts. Masaaki bids them farewell with the promise that, upon their return, they would all reunite under the sakura on the school grounds. Only one student does return with news that all his classmates had perished in battles across the Pacific and in foreign lands. Overcome by guilt, Masaaki goes on a life-long quest to fulfill his promise. Over the next three decades, he obsessively strives to create a new strain of sakura that can blossom anywhere so that the spirits of his students would have a place to meet.

Written and directed by Gen Takahashi, it is a rumination on innocence and a generation carelessly squandered in the misguided pursuit of military glory.

Starring Takashi Sasano, Yuki Kazamatsuri, Koji Matoba, Maki Miyamoto and Shota Sasano

Thursday, October 26 @ 7pm / 114min
In Japanese with English subtitles

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帝一の國

TIICHI: BATTLE FOR SUPREME HIGH
(Special Screening with Reel Asian)

Teiichi Akaba has committed his life to becoming the next student council president at Kaitei College, the most elite private Japanese school of choice. Actually, Teiichi has committed his life to becoming prime minister and ruling his own country; he’s prepared to crush the competition by any means necessary!

In this absurdist satire of Japan’s elitist pathways to the seats of power, sabotage, bribery, ritual suicide, fisticuffs and more than a few unspoken crushes charge the boys’ all out warfare. Achingly relevant, absolutely hilarious and based on Usamaru Furuya’s manga.

Starring Masaki Suda, Shuhei Nomura, Ryoma Takeuchi, Shotaro Mamiya, Jun Shison

Wednesday November 15 at 7pm / 119 min
In Japanese with English subtitles

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無限の住人

BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL
(Special Screening with Reel Asian )

“With a body count in the thousands and a breakneck pitch that starts feverishly intense and only builds upwards… certainly one of Takashi Miike’s most lethal works.” – IndieWire
Manji, an indestructible warrior is hired as a bodyguard for Rin whose kendo-master father and pupils were slaughtered by the swordsmen of Itto-ryu. Together they embark on a spectacular campaign of vengeance. Director Takashi Miike's 100th film, based on Hiroaki Sumara’s popular manga, combines huge, bloody battle scenes with healthy doses of humour, fantasy and visual splendor.

Starring Takuya Kimura, Hana Sugisaki, Sota Fukushi, Hayato Ichihara, Erika Toda, Kazuki Kitamura

Thursday, November 16 at 7pm / 141 min
In Japanese with English subtitles

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