Teiichi: Battle of the Supreme High (" Teiichi no Kuni")

North American Premiere
  • Japan
  • 2017
  • 118 mins
  • Japanese
  • English (subtitles)
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Official Selection: Udine Far East Film Festival 2017

"The film smartly satirizes the Japanese political world in particular, as well as political animals everywhere" – Mark Schilling, THE JAPAN TIMES

Welcome to Kaitei College, the Japanese school of choice for shaping the political elite of tomorrow. If a student covets the title of Prime Minister, they must first meet two specific objectives: to be elected as a class representative, in order to form rewarding alliances, and to associate oneself with a senior candidate, to ultimately to become chairman of the student council. One of the brightest new pupils, Teiichi Akaba, is ready to do anything to one day direct Japan and even create his own country, whether by lies, espionage, treason or self-sacrifice. However, his eternal nipple-pinching rival Kikuma proves to be a tough opponent, as does the earnest and popular Dan. To overcome old family rivalries, ephemeral pacts and multiple low blows, Teiichi will have to place his pawns astutely. When you aspire to triumph in an environment where the knives are out and often end up in your back, you’d better know how to be on the right side of the blade!

If politics has ground you down this year, but you’d rather laugh at it rather than sink into cynicism, TEIICHI: BATTLE OF THE SUPREME HIGH is exactly the film you need. Combining electoral satire and coming-of-age yarn, this delightfully wacky adaptation of the manga “Teiichi no Kuni,” by Usamaru Furuya, comes from director Akira Nagai, to whom we owe the unforgettable IF CATS DISAPPEARED FROM THE WORLD. Although full of amusing details, Nagai's production is more sober this time, leaving plenty of room for the ingenious narrative and colorful characters populating the manga. Masaki Suda (ASSASSINATION CLASSROOM) reigns over an excellent cast, making his Teiichi funny and endearing in spite of his incessant machinations. If Machiavelli and John Hughes teamed up to portray a school election, the result would look like TEIICHI: BATTLE OF THE SUPREME HIGH!

- translated by Rupert Bottenberg

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