- PFF Scholarship work

FOURTEEN

FOURTEEN

The 16th PFF Scholarship Film
35mm/114min/color
Director:Hiromasa Hirosue

Ryo's days teaching eighth graders should be as ordinary as any other. Instead, she spends her energy mediating a tense atmosphere between the students and faculty. Allowing the students a benefit of the doubt with her co-workers, she seeks a less authoritative relation with the students. Ryo walks this very taught rope because of an inner desire to help.
For the young teens, however, there is only the frustration of having ones ambitions crushed by self-important adults who treat them as children just as their emotions are awakening to adolescence. This tightly held bitterness uncoils in flashes of anger and when Ryo is subjected to the unique viciousness of fourteen-year-olds, her troubled past is exposed, jarring her unstable emotions.
By coincidence she encounters Koichi, a familiar face from her student days. Koichi is an average company man, working for the local electric power company. He has started tutoring a young boy in piano after his co-worker learned that he used to play as a child. Apathetically listening to the boy play with little talent but genuine desire, Koichi is taken to a moment in his youth when he decided to quit. And when the boy asks for some advice, Koichi begins to laugh.
Ryo and Koichi share a connection as adults they barely possessed as classmates. Reliving their adolescent traumas, teacher and tutor discover that the fourteen-year-old within them still smolders just beneath their "grown-up" facade, inflicting the same kind of hurt they resented as teens. They come to realize that to fight for the future, they need to make peace with the past.

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