Gauche the Cellist

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Feature Film: 23 January 1982 / 63 minutes
Direction, Screenplay: Isao Takahata

Gauche and tanuki
Gauche and tanuki
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Gauche the Cellist (セロ弾きのゴーシュ Sero Hiki no Gōshu?) is based on a story by Kenji Miyazawa, one of the most-loved poet/storytellers in Japan (Miyazaki and Takahata love his works, and have been influenced by him). The movie was made as an independent project by the Japanese animation studio, Oh! Productions, and took six years to complete. It is rather difficult to make a Kenji story into a movie because there are many Japanese just waiting to rip you apart if you screw up, but Gauche has been highly acclaimed, and is considered one of the best Miyazawa movies. The story, set in Miyazawa's home town of Iwate in the 1920s, is about a diligent but mediocre cellist named Gauche, a young member of the town's orchestra. Berated by his conductor during rehearsal, Gauche practices late into each night and is assisted in his studies by the animals that gather to hear his music.