"Nobody Knows", directed by Hirozaku Koreeda, is a compelling film thatwill grab the viewer's attention from the start. The film, based on areal incident in Japan is one of the saddest accounts in memory aboutchildren's abuse by uncaring parents.
If you haven't seen the movie, maybe you would like to stop reading.
When we first meet this family, Keiko, the mother, and Akira, are seenbringing their things to the tiny apartment they have rented. Little bylittle we see two young children emerge from two huge suitcases, at therisk of suffocating, and another one that is waiting at a trainstation. This mother and the four children seem to be happy beingtogether. Since the lease is for only two persons, the other kids mustbe quiet, as they don't want to bring undue attention from the landlordand his wife, who also live in the complex.
We realize Keiko's love for her children comes second to her life as awoman of loose morals; she may be a prostitute, although it's left tothe viewer's imagination what she does after she leaves the apartment.Akira, being the oldest, is in charge of the other three. It becomesclear these four children are the product of different fathers. Yet,all four function as though they have the same set of parents.
Keiko, who appears to be just another kid, thinks nothing in leavingthese four to fend for themselves, while she is going out of town withher present beau. Keiko is the epitome of cruelty. How can a mothereven dream of abandoning these young kids and expect Akira to assumefull responsibility for the situation?
Akira, is a study of maturity beyond belief. Only in that type ofsociety, someone like this boy can exist. Akira is seen in his dailyroutine going to the store and cook for the siblings and the mother,while she's still around. Akira realizes he has a responsibility, as henever resorts to stealing, even when he becomes friendly with some badkids from his area. Akira realizes he is the head of the household andmust protect those that have been placed under his care, something thereal mother has neglected to do.
The film is a document about children's abuse and cruelty. Mr. Koreedahas been blessed with a cast that do miracles for him. Yuya Yagira,does an incredible job as Akira. All the children appear to be nonprofessionals, but under the guidance of the director, they make usbelieve they are the abandoned children living alone and eking out aliving for themselves.