Isao Yukisada spins this gritty coming-of-age tale about Sugihara, a Japanese-born, third-generation Korean who struggles to find a place in a society that will not accept him. The film begins with Sugihara studying at a Korean junior high school that is dedicated to memory of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. His father is a grizzled ex-boxer who recently changed his citizenship from North to South Korea so he and his wife – Sugihara’s mom – could visit Hawaii. Though his father regularly gets drunk and thrashes him, he also taught Sugihara the finer point of the sweet science. At one point in the film, Sugihara takes out an entire basketball team that was bent on taking him out. Upon graduation, Sugihara enters a normal Japanese high school where he meets and soon falls for Sakurai – a loose-sock copper-haired damsel who is attracted to Sugihara’s restless spirit. As the film progresses, Sugihara struggles to throw off the stigma of his ethnicity and live a quiet, successful life.
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