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|Laufzeit:||Ca. 91 min.|
|FSK:||From 0 years|
The 17-year-old Umi from Yokohama already carries a lot of responsibility around with her in her young years. Not only does she go to school every day like the other girls, she also takes care of her siblings, her grandmother and the three tenants who live in her family's mansion. Since Umi's mother works abroad as a doctor and her father has not returned from the war, the young girl has to take care of all these tasks on her own. Yet every morning she finds time to hoist the flag in front of her house and send a greeting to the distance - a ritual that doesn't go unnoticed. Because suddenly Umi finds himself as the subject of an article in the school newspaper. When she meets Shun, the author of the article, her strictly ordered life changes completely. Not only does she feel strongly attracted to the boy. It also becomes part of a protest movement of a group of committed students who have built a clubhouse in a large wooden house next to the school, which is now to be demolished. While Umi fights at Shun's side for the preservation of the "Quartier Latin", the feelings of the two grow steadily towards each other. But they don't know yet that a secret from their parents' past connects them very closely…
With "Der Mohnblumenberg", the world-famous Japanese Ghibli studio reports back impressively as usual. Studio founder Hayao Miyazaki limited himself this time to writing the script based on a manga by Kokurikozaka Kara from the 1980s. He left the direction to his son Goro Miyazaki. Visually, the Junior also remains true to the style established by his father. Nevertheless, "Der Mohnblumenberg" clearly differs from most of Hayao Miyazaki's films. If in his works such as "Chihiro's Journey to the Magic Land", "Princess Mononoke" or "The Changing Castle" the story usually has a fantastic, fairytale-like character, the events from "The Hill of Poppies" are strongly anchored in reality.
The film takes place in 1963, the year before the Olympic Games in Japan took place. It is a time of upheaval, a change from the chaotic post-war period to an economic upswing. But it also marks a change in tradition and modernity, which finds expression here in the endeavour to demolish the old clubhouse and create something new and modern. And for the main characters it is also a time of upheaval in many respects, as they are on the verge of adulthood. At the same time, her life is also fundamentally changed by the confrontation with her past.
The story told by "Der Mohnblumenberg" is in itself very beautiful and interesting, and the very traditional visualization of the animated film also has a pleasantly nostalgic charm. But it turns out to be extremely difficult to define a clear target group for this film. The optics tempts one to declare it a children's film. But the story is simply too complex for that and too little target-group oriented. Older viewers, on the other hand, might find it hard to make friends with the movie's somewhat childish look. Because what was invited to dream with imaginative material like "Chihiro's Journey to the Magic Land" and kidnapped the viewer into another world, doesn't really work here anymore. Only the interior of the "Quartier Latin" is a true feast for the eyes, a place that is simply wonderful and fascinating due to its richness of detail.
"Der Mohnblumenberg" is a beautiful film, there is no question about it. Miyazaki fans get their money's worth here at the visual level. Nonetheless, the feeling that the movie is somehow not fish and not meat remains a work that is difficult to classify, which will find it very difficult to win over a larger audience. Nevertheless there is a clear one from an artistic point of view: worth seeing!
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