"Nobody Knows is not a fun film to watch, but it is entertaining in the sense that it WILL move you and it WILL make you ponder a myriad of heavy issues."
Nobody Knows (2004)
AKA: Daremo Shiranai
Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Writer: Hirokazu Koreeda
Cast: Yûya Yagira, Ayu Kitaura, Hiei Kimura, Momoko Shimizu, Hanae Kan, You, Kazumi Kushida, and Yukiko Okamoto
Running Time: 141 min.
Plot: Set in Tokyo, this is an exceptional story of a makeshift family of children left to survive in an urban jungle.
Availability: This title is available at HKflix.com
ALEXANDER'S REVIEW: Nobody Knows is based on the true story of a free-spirited mother who abandons her four children in a small apartment in Japan. Each child, ranging in age from four to twelve, has a different absent father. Before departing on a "business trip" to Osaka, the mother leaves her oldest son a few thousand yen and instructions to take care of the others. The film chronicles their heart-breaking effort to survive in a parent-less, school-free, urban environment.
All I really need to do to illustrate the excellence of Nobody Knows is point to 15-year old Yuyi Yagira's Best Actor award at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. He really is a marvel to watch. However, all of the performers in this tragic true story warrant praise. According to IMDB, three of the four were rookie actors and the fourth, Hanae Kan, who played the eldest sister Saki, only had a bit part in 2001's Pistol Opera before Nobody Knows. For director Hirokazu Koreeda to elicit such amazing performances from such a young and inexperienced cast is even further testament to this movie's excellence.Nobody Knows is not a fun film to watch, but it is entertaining in the sense that it WILL move you and it WILL make you ponder a myriad of heavy issues. The film reminded me a lot of Todd Haynes's movie Safe, as both unfold at an unhurried pace and both tackle depressing tales of urban survival and weighty themes. Like Haynes's film, there isn't any action, there is not much humor and the horrors are purely emotional, but I can guarantee you won't forget Nobody Knows anytime soon.
ALEXANDER'S RATING: 9/10