Blue Spring
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Following up on his gritty boxing documentary Unchained, Toshiaki Toyoda returns to narrative film with this bleak portrait of life at perhaps the worst high school in Japan. The film opens with the quiet yet brutal Kujo (played by Gohatto's Ryuhei Matsuda) winning a particularly hair-raising version of chicken -- clapping as many times as you can while hanging on the outside of the school's rooftop railing. Kujo is immediately crowned the king of the school and his gang -- including his thuggish childhood pal Aoki -- rule the place with an iron fist. The student fear and worship Kujo… More