Abandoned Children In A World Run By Adults
Hirokazu Koreeda's 'Dare Mo Shiranai' tells the heartbreaking story offour abandoned young siblings who struggle to survive in an apartment.The apartment was restricted to two people (where no little childrenwere allowed). It is known that Akira and his mother were the onlytenants thus the three other children are living in secret (and are notallowed to leave the apartment or make any noise in case the neighboursgot suspicious). While Akira is the only one allowed to leave theapartment, he is forbidden to go to school. After their self-centredmother's long term departure due to her 'work', 12-year-old Akira, theeldest one, serves as a parent striving to provide food for his brotherand sisters but he too is only a child and how will he, in a world runby adults, support his siblings?
The director tells this unique story in a very heartfelt, sensitiveway. 'Dare Mo Shiranai' is based on a true event (which was far moreharrowing) but I can see that he might have been inspired by movieslike 'Hotaru No Haka' and perhaps William Golding's 'Lord of theFlies'. With the minimal use of music, special effects the film has anunpolished look which makes the characters' sense of isolation anddespair all the more authentic to the viewer. The whimsical backgroundscore is cleverly used and it brings a poetic feel. The child actorsare excellent. It is Yûya Yagira who confidently carries the film buteach one of these kids deliver very natural performances. It's hard totell whether they were acting. Moreover because the film is sort ofshot in documentary format it is easy to forget that one is watching afilm. I wonder how the director got the kids to act so restrained.
'Dare Mo Shiranai' is a beautiful film that depicts the importance of aresponsible adult figure in children's lives but it also demonstratesthat children too are strong even though inexperienced. Yet, no matterwhat, the importance of a significant nurturing adult is crucial for achild's development.