This harrowing, tender film, was inspired by a real event known in Japan as "the affair of the four abandoned children of Nishi-Sugamo." Four children - three of them without birth records, all of them the offspring of different fathers - were left alone by their mother in a small Tokyo apartment, where they lived for six months without attracting any notice or intervention. Their tale is a rich, awful congeries of primal and distinctly modern fears, from the universal childhood fantasy of parental abandonment to the more grown-up suspicion that big cities are places of cruel isolation and indifference. Mr. Kore-eda explores nearly every emotional nuance and implication of the story, without for an instant succumbing to sensationalism or melodrama. "Nobody Knows" is of course too naturalistic, and too disturbing, to be a movie for children, but it nonetheless engages the audience's wondering, childlike imagination as well as its worrying adult conscience.
Directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda. 141 mins, Rated PG-13. In Japanese with subtitles.
Presented in collaboration with the Amherst College Department of Art and the History of Art, the Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations, and The Mead Art Museum at Amherst College, in conjunction with Reinventing Tokyo: Japan's Largest City in the Artistic Imagination, August 25 to December 30, 2012, featuring over 100 woodblock prints, photographs and objects, portraying Tokyo in light of the city's continual reinvention in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Film series sponsored by the Toshiba International Foundation.
With introduction by Prof. Timothy Van Compernolle of Amherst College
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