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Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

‘A Silent Voice’: an anime study of bullying

Not everyone was bullied in school. But one way or the other, most of us felt its impact — either as as victims, as bystanders. Or as participants.

A study of bullying, and its aftereffects, is at the heart of "A Silent Voice," a 2016 animated film from Japan directed by Naoko Yamada (based on the original work of Kiyoshi Shigematsu).

The story involves a young boy, bullied in school by a popular student, who years later is approached by that same student who wants to make amends. Yamada's film will screen in a dubbed version at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Regal Cinemas' theaters at Northtown Mall and at Coeur d'Alene's Riverstone Stadium.

Here are some critical comments about the film:

Charles Solomon, Los Angeles Times: "An unflinching depiction of the cruelty children inflict on each other."

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: "Naoko Yamada is regarded as one of the 'up and coming' animated filmmakers seeking to fill the void created by the retirement of Hayao Miyazaki. Considering the artwork in 'A Silent Voice,' it's easy to see why."

Considering the remarks of Berardinelli, "A Silent Voice" could be referred to as a kind of contemporary "Beauty and the Beast."