Film Review: Tekkonkinkreet

In Treasure Town, old fashioned and futuristic city at the same time, two children jump from one building to another like “Chinese monkeys running on clouds”: Black and White are orphans and hoodlums. They need to survive in an uncaring, deaf and dangerous city and struggle to realise their innocent dream: building a house on the beach.

However, their daily fight is like irreverent fun, at least until the return of the old yakuza that used to dominate the city, and the arrival of the new one. The evil force of the adults leads them to fall apart and become lost: White sinks in a sea of desperate autism, Black is absorbed in a dimension of darkness and damnation.

This is the story of the encounter-clash between good and evil that in unity lose their reason for being and become overtaken by the superior forces of Love and Truth. Black and White write a tale of pure and unconditional friendship in which one is complementary to the other in a constant exchange of roles: it is not clear who is the older and who the younger, who is the one protecting and who is the one protected, who is the one doing the dirty work and who is the one keeping the dream alive.

Tekkonkinkreet (reinforced concrete) is one of the best anime ever, with its dramatic turn of events and the peculiar psychological evolution of its characters. Realised by the Japanese American director Michael Arias in 2006, this movie is a powerful representation of the reality of many cities of our times: places of perdition and corruption where old and new yakuza try to step on youth hopes and increasingly sophisticated means are adopted by the élites to make money and control individuals.

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