Summer Vacation: 1999
Thursday 10pm - kleine zaal
Friday 8pm - grote zaal

production notes

Shusuke Kaneko

Japan 1988 90 min
Feature 35 mm
Japanese with English subtitles

Programme: Asian Expressions
The story is a hypnotizing narrative that is both deceptively simple and full of mystery. Set in a boys' school in a remote, beautiful area of Japan, Summer Vacation: 1999 tells the story of four teenage students who spend their summer vacation at school, unsupervised and untouched by the outside world.

As the story begins, one of the students, Yu, has taken his own life by jumping off the cliff because of his unrequited love for the exquisitely beautiful Kazuhike, who is also loved by another boy, Naeto. Just as the shock of the suicide finally starts to subside, the boys are unpleasantly surprised by the coming of a new student who looks strikingly similar to their dead fellow student Yu.

Summer Vacation: 1999 is based on a Shojó Manga, a popular genre of comics for mainly straight girls. A recurrent theme in this manga is the ideal depiction of gay love between bishònen (beautiful boys). In the 70's, this resulted in a series of homosexual love stories set in boys' schools. Director Shusuke Kaneko cast actresses to play the parts of all four boys to emphasize this particular phenomenon in Japanese popular culture.