Pin It
Tokyo Godfathers

Movie Spotlight 

Tokyo Godfathers

Just in time for Easter comes this magical animated Christmas movie from Satoshi Kon (Millennium Actress). The film opens in the shadowy world of the down and out, during a snowy Yuletide season in Tokyo where three homeless rejects are enduring sermons so that they might get some food.

It's a tough trio. There's Miyuki, a preteen runaway. There's also Gin, an embittered, middle-aged alcoholic who says he's a disgraced bicycle racer. Finally, and most memorably, there's Hana, a tubercular transvestite whose one great wish is to have a child. ("What if a miracle like a baby being born to the Virgin Mary were to happen to a homo?" she asks a soup kitchen worker. "Better give me a little extra, because I'm eating for two.")

One quarrelsome night in an alleyway, the three outsiders discover an abandoned baby. Christening the miraculous infant Kiyoko, this ragtag, jerry-rigged family sets out to locate the baby's mother, a quest that turns into a dangerous journey through rival criminal syndicates and a series of confrontations with the ghosts of their pasts.

If this plot sounds familiar, it's not an accident. John Ford's Three Godfathers, released in 1948, concerned a similar challenge posed to three cowboys led by John Wayne. In Kon's hands, however, the plot is a device to explore the great chain of human connections. Although there are more coincidences and chance encounters here than in a Dickens novel, our interest and willingness to believe never flag. Rich with humor and enlivened with haikus and storybook devices, the animation is constantly surprising without ever losing an extraordinarily rich humanism.

  • Tokyo Godfathers


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Spotlight

  • Paul Newman, 1925-2008

    A hero we could believe in
    • Oct 3, 2008
  • Remembering director Sydney Pollack, and his visit to Durham

    Pollack's death Monday, May 26, at age 73 represents the passing of a true film raconteur and accomplished director.
    • May 27, 2008
  • Om Shanti Om

    Om Shanti Om delivers the glitter and glamour, the comedy and thrills, religion and the supernatural, mother love, high fashion and eye-popping  production numbers in proper masala fashion.
    • Nov 14, 2007
  • More »

More by David Fellerath

Facebook Activity

Twitter Activity


I find this rather interesting ..My name is Gary E.Queen .I am a grand son of Thomas H. Queen,Descendant ,Of …

by Gary E. Queen on The Queen Family (Spotlight)

"He was the picture of a man comfortable in his own skin and celebrity." I never met Pollack, but I …

by rwcass on Remembering director Sydney Pollack, and his visit to Durham (Spotlight)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

© 2014 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation