7.4/10
1,478
4 user 27 critic

Giovanni's Island (2014)

Jobanni no shima (original title)
A dramatic yet heart-warming story of cross-cultural friendship among children in the aftermath of WWII, presented by Tokyo-based award-winning animation studio Production I.G. Based on true events.

Director:

Mizuho Nishikubo

Writers:

Shigemichi Sugita (original story), Shigemichi Sugita (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Tatsuya Nakadai ... Junpei Senou (older) (voice)
Yukie Nakama Yukie Nakama ... Sawako (voice)
Yûsuke Santamaria Yûsuke Santamaria ... Hideo (voice)
Tatyana Sharko Tatyana Sharko ... (voice) (as Tatiana Sharko)
Kota Yokoyama Kota Yokoyama ... Junpei Senou (voice)
Junya Taniai Junya Taniai ... Senou, Kanta
Kaoru Yachigusa Kaoru Yachigusa ... Sawako (older)
Ho Han Yoo Ho Han Yoo ... (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Austin Nash Chase ... Various (voice)
Lauren Conn Lauren Conn
Aleksandr Golovchanskiy Aleksandr Golovchanskiy ... (voice) (as Alexander Golovchanskiy)
Kannon Gowen Kannon Gowen ... Jun Pei (voice)
Natalie Hoover Natalie Hoover ... Tanya (voice)
Masachika Ichimura ... Tatsuo Senou (voice)
Polina Ilyushenko Polina Ilyushenko ... Tanya (voice)
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Storyline

In the aftermath of the most devastating conflict mankind had ever experienced, the tiny island of Shikotan became part of the Sakhalin Oblast... and on the unhealed border in this remote corner of the world, friendship among children from two different countries timidly blossomed, striving to overcome language barriers and the waves of history. Inspired by true events. Written by Production I.G

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site | Official site | See more »

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese | Russian | Korean

Release Date:

22 February 2014 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Giovanni's Island See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Dorogoi Dilnnoyu
Written by Boris Ivanovitch Fomin
Courtesy of Anatoliy Fomin and National music publishers LLC
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User Reviews

 
Beautiful, Affecting Anime from Japan
27 July 2014 | by alisonc-1See all my reviews

Junpei and his little brother Kanta are growing up on a small, far- northerly island of Japan, near the east coast of Russia, during and after World War II. After the Japanese are defeated, Soviet soldiers and their families take over the island, forcing the Japanese inhabitants to live in barns and to get by on small rations of rice smuggled to them from their former military posts. At first, Junpei and his family resent the Russians, but then he and Kanta meet Tanya, the daughter of the Soviet commander who is living in what was once their home. Children being children, they soon are playing together, learning each other's language and maybe, just maybe, falling a little bit in love. But when Junpei's father is betrayed to the Soviets, Junpei blames Tanya, believing that she told her father a secret with which he had entrusted her. There are other possible suspects, but by the time Junpei learns the truth, he and all the other Japanese are being moved off the island into internment camps, far away from Tanya....

This is a really beautiful animated film, filled with both humour and loss, all told on a human scale where nobody is all-good and nobody is all-bad. One of the most affecting scenes involves the Japanese schoolchildren singing a folk song (in Japanese, of course) while in the next school room, Russian children are singing a Russian folk song; by the end of the scene, the Japanese kids are singing the Russian song and vice versa. Just one example of how this film shows the resilience of youth and the common humanity of everybody in the world. Perhaps my favourite film at Montreal's Fantasia Festival this year; a real gem.


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