All About Lily Chou-Chou
The pain and suffering of junior high is always good movie fodder, and in All About Lily Chou-Chou the topic gets an unfamiliar and moody airing. Director Shunji Iwai takes a discursive, sometimes baffling look into the life of a bullied kid whose misery is broken by his worship of a pop star, Lily Chou-Chou. Internet chat room exchanges punctuate the film’s narrative, as Yuichi and his anonymous Lily-philes share their intoxication with the "Ether"—the mystery of life that Lily’s voice somehow illuminates. The film’s style (and length) offer little in the way of traditional movie-watching pleasure, and the mystifying storytelling will have some viewers giving up in exasperation. Still, the portrait of adolescent loneliness rings true, and the ferocity of school bullying is laid bare. On the latter subject, this film is a little like the kill-or-be-killed apocalypse of Battle Royale, without the fantasy overlay. —Robert Horton
ReviewsPlease login to review this resource
Excellent for personal viewing, not for use in classrooms
This film is a very bleak yet realistic look at the lives of Japanese teenagers who suffer from bullying and isolation and find escape through the online forums devoted to their favorite celebrity, a Bjork-like singer named Lily Chou-Chou. The subjects of this film may appeal to teenagers, but it is unfortunately not a film that most teachers should consider using in the class room as it addresses a number of issues connected to the bullying, such as forced prostitution of a female classmate involved in 'sexting' who is blackmailed into dating older men for the financial benefit of some of her classmates, a group of thugs who use the money she "earns" and that they steal from elderly people to take an expensive vacation. This film shows a different side of Japanese schools and adolescent culture and it is very beautifully filmed and presented (often as a series of posts on the message boards the bullied students frequent), but teachers should not consider it for most classroom uses.
DVD REVIEW OF ALL ABOUT LILY CHOU-CHOU
TITLE: All About Lily Chou-Chou
REVIEWED BY: Milana Galagaza-Sopko; Oakland Catholic High School; 9-12 Grade Librarian
YEAR OF PUBLICATION: 2001
LENGTH: 146 Minutes
FILM BY: Shunji Iwai
PRODUCTION: Rockwell Eyes
SUBTITLES: In Japanese with optional English subtitles
RATING (out of five starts): 1 STAR
GRADE OR AGE LEVEL: Post high school.
ABSTRACT: Yuichi, the main character of the story, is an 8th grade boy whose adulation for the music of Lily Chou-Chou provides solace in his pain-ridden, bullied life. Today’s youth may be able t relate to this story as Yuichi uses an online chat room to help him bear the pain of involvement in teen-age prostitution, pilfering, and aggression.
RECOMMENDATION: It would not be recommended that any student in grades K-12 view this film. The subject matter in this DVD is inappropriate and includes unsuitable language, scenes of nudity, and acts of violence.
SUGGESTED USEAGE: This book could be used with the following topics:
✍ Moral Code