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KIKUJIRO aka KIKUJIRO NO NATSU
USA: Sony Pictures Classics
Cast: Takeshi Kitano, Yusuke Sekiguchi, Great Gidayu, Fumie Hosokawa, Rakkyo Ide, Makoto Inamiya, Kayoko Kishimoto, Akaji Maro, Hisahiko Murasawa, Daigaku Sekine, Yoji Tanaka, Kazuko Yoshiyuki
Director: Takeshi Kitano
USA: 116 mins
UK: 122 mins
USA Rated: PG-13 for a threatening incident
UK Certificate: 12 for a scene of moderate sexual threat
USA Release Date: 26 May 2000 (Limited Release - Los Angeles and New York)
UK Release Date: 30 June 2000
It's summer and nine-year old Masao (Yusuke Sekiguchi) has no one to play with. With soccer practice suspended and his friends away at the beach, living alone with his grandmother seems even less fun.
By chance, Masao discovers the address and photo of the mother he has never met. But with little money and even less sense of direction, he needs help. A friend of his grandmother volunteers her husband, Kikujiro (Beat Takeshi) to accompany the boy on his quest. Kikujiro hardly seems an ideal companion for anyone, let alone for a boy as sensitive as the sullen Masao. Brash, loudmouthed and always on the lookout for easy money, the irresponsible Kikujiro doesn't even appear to be overly fond of children.
The first stop for the unlikely pair is to the cycle races, where Kikujiro gambles away the boy's travel money. In order to continue their journey, the two are forced to try to hitch rides, which they do with varying degrees of success. Along the way, they encounter a number of colorful characters, including a juggling women, a traveling writer, and two friendly bikers.
Ultimately, the two of them end up at a destination that neither of them could have imagined.