Giovanni's Island

Giovanni's Island

Mizuho Nishikubo (2014)

102min
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Review

Our Score
Despite the Italian-sounding title, this is in fact a classic example of Japanese anime. It tells the tale of two young Japanese brothers who, when the Russians occupy their tiny island at the end of the Second World War, strike up a relationship with the daughter of the Soviet commander. But this is threatened by the black-marketeering of their dodgy uncle, and by the illicit rice distribution of their defence-force dad. Deftly mixing the innocence and imagination of childhood with the harsh realities of occupation, deportation and internment, this traditionally animated, endearingly "low-tech" film is bittersweet, often sad and occasionally very moving. It's ostensibly aimed at family audiences, though its subject matter and subtitling may better suit adults and older children.

Cast & Crew

Junpei Kota Yokoyama
Tanya Polina Ilyushenko
Kanta Junya Taniai
Tatsuo Masachika Ichimura
Sawako Yukie Nakama
Hideo Yusuke Santamaria
Genzo Saburo Kitajima
Mitchan Kanako Yanagihara
Director Mizuho Nishikubo
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Other Information

Language: Japanese, Russian +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: All the AnimeAvailable on: DVDReleased on: 10 Oct 2014