Dare Mo Shiranai (Nobody Knows) – **

Posted: January 9, 2014 in 2004, Drama, Japan, Social Drama, XX

A Japanese woman abandons her four children to go live with a man somewhere far away. She comes back from time to time, but very irregularly. They all live in a small apartment and the oldest boy, who is twelve, is in charge. He did get some cash from his mother, but when she stays away for months in a row he runs out of money. He doesn’t want to report it to the police or the social service, because a similar situation in the past placed all kids with other families. He may just be a kid, but he does feel responsible for keeping his family together. They don’t go to school and he’s the only one who can leave the apartment. He tries to create a social life outside of his duties, but it’s hard.

This is not a fictional story, but based on true events taking place in the end of the eighties. The reality was much worse than what you get to see in this mainstream version. It’s still sad and depressing, but you do feel like a lot is not being told. Japanese culture is different from ours, but there are too many moments where the story just doesn’t make sense. That doesn’t really damage the movie. It’s the length of the scenes that almost kills it. In his new movie, Like Father Like Son, director Kore-eda tells a lot with simple shots. Here he just tells the same over and over again. If the movie had been cut short with an hour, it would have been better.

Disappointed.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0408664

the trailer with the American voice over is TERRIBLE.

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