Director: Shinji Aoyama
Year Released: 2000
The survivors of a horrific bus hijacking - the driver of the bus and two young kids - come together years later and try to heal themselves, eventually deciding a road trip is the best mode of self-purification. I understand the emotion and need for time to get deep into the melancholy that accompanies loss, but the question remains whether the finale is 'earned' (the color suggests hope or rebirth, but the individual scenarios are bleak), and whether the 'murderer' sub-plot really works or not (I personally wasn't convinced by it, but every viewer needs to decide that for him/herself). Many find fault with the length, and I can't totally disagree - again, the 'payoff' is a bit of a let down - although the time passed rather quickly for me, since I found myself following along nicely with Aoyama's cinematic rhythm. Bonus points for using Jim O'Rourke's lovely song "Eureka" near the end.