This feature follows a golden retriever's service-filled odyssey from birth to working guide dog. Quill's assigned partner in life is Mr. Watanabe (Kaoru Kobayashi), a cranky middle-aged man who depends only on his cane and claims he "would rather sleep than be dragged around by a dog." But Quill shines in repeated tests of diligence and concentration, and eventually wins over his master. Mr. Watanabe's life changes-he begins to experience the sound of people's voices, the smell of flowers, and the feel of the wind's caress. But one day, their companionship faces a sudden sorrowful end. This simply told, emotionally riveting tale of true love and acceptance of change is the first family film from award-winning, Japanese director Yoichi Sai. (Ages 7+)
Born in 1949, Yoichi Sai, worked as an assistant director with Oshima Nagisa and Murakawa Toru, among others, before beginning his own directing career in 1983, with Jukkai no Mosquito, which won the Best New Director Award at the Venice International Film Festival, the Mainichi Film Festival, and the Yokohama Film Festival. In 1989, he directed Via Okinawa, which won the Best Screenplay Award at the Yokohama Film Festival. And in 1993, his All Under the Moon (Tsuki wa dotchi ni dete iru) won numerous film awards, including Japan's prestigious Kinema Junpo. His other films include Marks Mountain (Mâkusu no yama, 1995), Heisei musekinin-ikka: Tokyo de luxe (1995), and Doing Time (Keimusho no naka, 2002).