Inspired by an infamous true story that made headlines in Japan in 1988, this tough yet tender film from writer-director, Hirokazu Koreeda, follows the lives of four children left to fend for themselves by their wayward mother. Having smuggled her family into a new apartment under the landlord's nose, Keiko puts her 12 year old son Akira in charge of the youngsters and after a brief period of relative family harmony, disappears. Akira manages as best he can, but limited means and the cramped confines of the apartment force this unorthodox family unit to re-shape their narrow existence to suit their physical and emotional needs.
Both heartwarming and disturbing
- Nobody Knows review by Shatner's Bassoon
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You rated this film: 3
The story of 'Nobody Knows' revolves around four Tokyo siblings who are suddenly abandoned by their mother. Left to fend for themselves with only a little money and a vague hope that their mother may return, the film follows the children's struggle to survive on their own under the leadership of their 12 year old brother Akira. When the food and water run out, Akira pumps water from the local playground and shamelessly scrounges leftover sushi from a restaurant to feed him and his siblings, all the while daydreaming of baseball and school. As unbelievable as the plot sounds, the film succeeds because it is told in an incredibly believable way, and is shot in an almost 'fly on the wall' documentary style with a simple piano score. It also cleverly balances good and bad events which make the experience all the more real, and really highlights the children's spirit of survival. My only criticism is that there's no real ending to the story and although the lack of closure is mildly frustrating, it also leaves you with the impression that these four children are still out there, still doing whatever it takes to survive and stay together. If you like foreign film and don't mind slow paced stories then 'Nobody Knows' is well worth a look.