• “7 jours” tells the story of a gang of teenagers in an abandoned factory.

  • Young people join forces to help a Thai refugee child separated from his family.

  • This anime, discovered at the Annecy Festival, combines suspense and solidarity with a fascinating picture of Japanese youth.

The future belongs to Japanese youth, if we are to believe 

7 days

, a fable presented at the Annecy Festival in 2020. The director Yuta Murano told

20 Minutes to

 be an admirer of Michel Ocelot and we want to believe it so much his first feature film is vibrant with vitality.

A gang of teenagers take up the cause to save a very young Thai refugee pursued by the police, in this adaptation of a novel by Osamu Soda.

The festive getaway of the little gang turns to the entrenched camp in an abandoned factory where the young people ally themselves to help their protege, even if it means putting their own future in danger.

"Before starting the project, I interviewed many adolescents on various topical issues such as migrants or civil disobedience and I was surprised to find that they mastered them better than some adults", explains the director at

20 Minutes

.

A modernized note of hope

As the novel dated from the mid-1980s, Yuta Murano had to modernize it. All the more so since there was already a version shot in live action made in 1988 and very popular in Japan. “We have of course updated the theme while remaining faithful to the spirit of the book and the first film,” he explains. Works like

Breakfast Club

by John Hughes and

Stand By Me

by Rob Reiner have also influenced us. The spectator very quickly feels the impression that he is part of the gang, while the pressure mounts around heroes summoned to give in to the orders of the authorities.

“When young people put their convictions ahead of society's injunctions, it makes adults angry,” comments Yuta Murano, “but it also reminds them of all that they have lost in idealism and hope as they age.

I would like the end of the film to make that note of hope vibrate again.

With his very well sketched teenagers and breathtakingly realistic sets, the director manages to take the audience into a suspense that invites reflection on his own values.

Solidarity between characters united by a powerful friendship is one of the major themes of

7 jours

, a film that appeals by its respectful way of evoking contemporary Japanese youth.

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