Shinjuku Boys (1995)

Shinjuku Boys (1995)

Gender defies expectations and hearts defy conventions in 1990s Japan

The Very Best

8.1

Movie

Japan, United Kingdom
English, Japanese
Documentary, Drama
1995
FEMALE DIRECTOR, JANO WILLIAMS
53 min

What it's about

This documentary is set in the New Marilyn night club in Tokyo, Japan - where the hosts are transgender men. They can only make their living as hosts in a nightclub with other wannabes like them. The young women who come there often have relationships with them but the underlying fear is whether such a relationship can withstand the pressures on a girl to get married and have children. All three boys deal with this in different ways. These three hosts, the Shinjuku Boys, take us into their lives.

The take

Directed by Kim Longinotto and Jano Williams, this documentary combines intimate interviews, fly-on-the-wall observation, and striking cinematography to present a compelling glimpse into the lives of three transgender individuals working as hosts in Tokyo's bustling Shinjuku district. With unprecedented access to the subjects' lives, the documentary delves deep into their emotional journeys, capturing their hopes, fears, and aspirations surrounding identity, gender, and societal acceptance.  An eye-opening documentary that wastes none of its 53-minute runtime, Shinjuku Boys challenges preconceived notions and invites viewers to empathize with individuals navigating a world that often marginalizes them. 

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