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What do the films Seven Samurai, Godzilla, and Sansho the Bailiff have in common? They were all beaten to the coveted Blue Ribbon award in 1954 by Keisuke Kinoshita‘s “Nijûshi no hitomi” a.k.a Twenty-four eyes. An achingly beautiful and tragic story spanning two decades, “Twenty-four eyes” is a study of the passing of time, the student-teacher relationship, and a moving commentary on how war is paid for by the lives of our children.

Along with the Blue Ribbon, this film is also the current holder of the (less coveted) “last film to make m00ch cry” award. Yeah go ahead, laugh it up. This is a heart-wrenching film and I defy anyone with a soul to not be moved by its tragedy and poetic story. The film is a reminder that we were all innocent children once upon a time, and will make you long for the naivety and blissful ignorance so intertwined with youth.

This is a solid 5-star film, and while it may sound pretentiously cliche, I can think of no better phrase to describe 24 eyes than a journey through life itself. Not to be missed.