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Japan, 2001 (MIFF 2002, Regional Focus)

Director: Toyoda Toshiaki

Blue Spring is about high school anarchy, hairstyles and rock'n'roll. In a school where the students set the rules while teachers are dangled from windows, students play a deadly game of chicken to decide who is boss. When hip Kujo, idolised by childhood friend Aoki, wins the game, he at first takes kindly to his new role as leader. As the end of school looms Kujo grows indifferent to both leadership and Aoki. The final confrontation between the two peers is electrifying and unfathomably tragic.

Japanese filmmakers are in the midst of a deep and painful moment of societal self-analysis and truly exceptional cinema is being created in the process. One can literally feel their agony as they explore the failures and lies that have contributed to the nation's current state of crisis.

Toyoda Toshiaki (born in Osaka, Japan, 1969) debuted as a screenwriter with Checkmate (1991). After several other writing credits, he directed his first feature, Pornostar (1998), and a documentary, Unchain (2000), prior to making Blue Spring.

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