lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Jul 25 11:52:37 MDT 2008
Now showing at the ImaginAsian Theater in New York and scheduled for
release at Los Angeles’s ImaginAsian on July 31, “Canary” is a powerful
study of two deeply troubled 12 year olds who bond together in an
odyssey across Japan. Koichi (Hoshi Ishida) is the son of a woman who
had joined the “Nirvana” cult (a fictionalized version of Aum Shinrikyo,
the perpetrators of the sarin gas attack in the Tokyo subway).
Koichi and his younger sister were forced to become acolytes as well.
After the Nirvana cult is accused of mass murder, the leaders go into
hiding, including Koichi’s mother, and their children are remanded to a
group home, Koichi’s maternal grandfather takes custody of his sister,
but Koichi is spurned as an incorrigible cultist just like his mother.
The movie begins with Koichi escaping barefoot from the group home which
is near Kyoto and heading down a road to make it to Tokyo, some 320
miles away, in order to reunite with his sister and take vengeance on
his grandfather. He stops at a nearby school and finds a pair of
sneakers and a screwdriver that he begins sharpening into a dagger for
use on his grandfather and any stranger who gets in the way of this
Not long after he is back on the road, he is fated to meet Yuki (Mitsuki
Tanimura) who will serve as his Sancho Panza. She is a child prostitute
who we first meet in the front seat of a car driven by her latest john,
a mean-looking man who orders her to put on the handcuffs he keeps in
the glove compartment-trying to reassure her rather unsuccessfully that
he is a cop. Just as she is about to put finish putting on the
handcuffs, the car nearly runs into Koichi who is walking in the center
of the road. The john loses control of the car which careens of the road
and tumbles into a field.
Yuki flees from the car and greets Koichi as her liberator, even if
unintentionally so. He shows little interest in her adulation and for
that matter remains unsmiling and taciturn throughout their initial
encounter. Clearly, cult life has placed a hard shell around the youth.
Yuki is his polar opposite, remaining warm and cheerful even though life
has dealt her some major blows as well. Her mother is dead and her
father beats her. Deciding that there is nothing at home worth staying,
she announces to Koichi that she will join him on the trek to Tokyo. His
reaction is to shrug his shoulders and to continue down the road with
her in tow.
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