Giovanni's Island

Saturday, April 11, 2015 - 18:30
Vancity Theatre
1181 Seymour St.
$9 adult; $6 child, youth, senior; $5 each for groups of 10 or more
Mizuho Nishikubo

In Japanese, Korean, and Russian with English subtitles

Following Japan’s surrender at the end of World War II, brothers Junpei and Kanta’s lives are turned upside-down as the Soviet Union occupies the small island of Shikotan. Junpei and Kanta must work to keep their family together, while also struggling to understand a culture they’ve never known. A new friend, Tanya, a Soviet girl their age, helps make the transition smoother. It’s not long before Junpei and Kanta are separated from their father and sent away from home, left on their own to find the way back. Based on true events, as well as the classic Japanese novel, Night on the Galactic Railroad, Giovanni’s Island is a heartwarming story of the importance of familial bonds and persevering through the greatest of hardships.

AWARD - JURY DISTINCTION, Annecy International Animated Film Festival, 2014
WINNER - SATOSHI KON AWARD, Fantasia Film Festival, 2014
WINNER - AUDIENCE AWARD, Fantasia Film Festival, 2014

Classification: PG

Recommended for ages 12+

Themes: historical fiction, siblings, WWII, animation, and internment camps

Note: There are animated depictions of war; imprisonment, gun shots off-screen, a sequence in shadow of a baby that has died, and the death of a sibling.
Preceded by: Everything Changed
After the film please join us for a reception in the theatre atrium hosted by Nikkie Place, a Japanese Canadian cultural centre, museum, and community centre focused on educating the public about Japanese Canadian internment and Japanese culture. The reception will feature special guest speaker, Akira Horii, who grew up in Vancouver's historical Strathcona neighbourhood. Horii had a carefree childhood until the war, when his family was interned from 1942 to1949 -- his life changed dramatically at that time. Horii will share his story of internment in Canada.
film program: 
Director's Photo: 
Director's Bio: 
Born in Tokyo in 1953, Misuho Nishikubo has been a longtime and trusted collaborator of Mamoru Oshii. Nishikubo has worked as an animation director under his real name of Toshihiko Nishikubo in most of Oshii's animated films, including Ghost in the Shell (1995), Palme d'Or-nominee Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (2004) and Golden Lion-nominee The Sky Crawlers (2008). It is said that Oshii's movies wouldn't look the same without his contribution. His credits as director include, Video Girl Ai (1992), Otogi Zoshi (2004, TV series) and Atagoal: Cat's Magical Forest (2006, movie). He also directed the music clip Tsepi i kol'tsa / Chains & Rings (2003) for Russian rock star Linda, and the internationally praised NEXT A-Class commercial film for Mercedes-Benz (600,000 views on YouTube in three days). His feature film Musashi: The Dream of the Last Samurai (2009), written by Mamoru Oshii, screened at numerous festivals.