Prepare for 2 and 1/2 hours
Rizzo | Denver, CO | 10/21/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The film is based on a true story in Japan, 1988 where a heartless mother abandoned her children in an apartment. In most cases where film depicts true life, the film story is more sensualized. But here, according to reports of the true incident, the real life "Affair of the Abandoned Children of Sugamo." is much more grim.
Nobody Knows, filmed in 2004, takes place in Japan where a young mother of four tells the children she is out of town working and leaves the children to fend for themselves, for months or forever. Initially, mother and eldest son rent an apartment, but she sneaks the other children into the apartment. The other three are never to go outside, nor attend school. She tramps around, then leaves.
From a Boy to a Man to a Boy to a Man
The pre-teen boy is suddenly thrust into manhood, as we see him dutifully budget the money left to him, paying rent, buying food. He is the man of the house, until temptations of childhood take over and as a young boy indulges on games and nonsense with friends. Then, as the money and friends go, he tries to earn money to support his siblings, the role of a man.
Although the movie is 2 1/2 hours long, the pace slow; it is necessary to depict the length of time these children are alone, fending for themselves. Some feel it could have been cut considerably. Dialogue is minimal and soundtrack low key. It won several awards.
What is depicted in the film does not ring true to "survival." We get the feeling that their life is not in too much despair. The children do not appear "neglected" and it doesn't quite come across as months of solitude without proper supervision and care. For another similar film with abandonment as the theme, try Treeless Mountain .......Rizzo"