Screened as part of Autumn Events 2013
The latest classic from Studio Ghibli is the tender story of two enterprising children, schoolgirl Umi and her dashing friend Shun. Both are being raised by widowed parents. It’s 1963 and Japan has emerged from the long shadow of the war and is preparing to welcome the world to the Olympics. Umi’s time is taken up looking after the family boarding house and taking care of others, especially her impossibly silly little sister. Shun is the editor of the school newspaper and he’s running a campaign to save the school’s funky old clubhouse from developers. Like the best Ghibli films, Poppy Hill is exquisitely attuned to childish resourcefulness and emotion – and does not reserve its many treasures for children alone.
For those non Japanese-speakers daunted by the prospect of reading the subtitles to their junior cohorts at last year’s NZIFF screenings, we bring you the brand-new English-dubbed version. — Bill Gosden