IMDb > Nobody Knows (2004)
Dare mo shiranai
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Nobody Knows (2004) More at IMDbPro »Dare mo shiranai (original title)

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Nobody Knows -- A drama about siblings who are forced to rely solely on each other when they are left alone by their loving, yet immature mother. This film was the official Japanese entry for the 2004 Academy Awards. From IFC Films.
Nobody Knows -- Open-ended Trailer from IFC
Nobody Knows -- Open-ended Trailer from IFC

Overview

User Rating:
8.1/10   17,422 votes »
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View company contact information for Nobody Knows on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
21 October 2004 (Hong Kong) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
In a small Tokyo apartment, twelve-year-old Akira must care for his younger siblings after their mother leaves them and shows no sign of returning. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
13 wins & 10 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(64 articles)
[Cannes Review] After the Storm
 (From The Film Stage. 20 May 2016, 9:32 AM, PDT)

U.S. Trailer for Hirokazu Koreeda’s Cannes Drama ‘Our Little Sister’
 (From The Film Stage. 12 April 2016, 10:36 AM, PDT)

Film Review: Our Little Sister
 (From CineVue. 12 April 2016, 8:02 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
A compelling portrait of the world of abandoned children See more (99 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Directed by
Hirokazu Koreeda 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Hirokazu Koreeda 

Produced by
Hirokazu Koreeda .... producer
Satoshi Kôno .... associate producer
Yutaka Shigenobu .... executive producer
Hijiri Taguchi .... line producer
Toshiro Uratani .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
Gontiti 
 
Cinematography by
Yutaka Yamazaki 
 
Film Editing by
Hirokazu Koreeda 
 
Casting by
Yoshiko Arae 
 
Production Design by
Toshihiro Isomi 
Keiko Mitsumatsu 
 
Makeup Department
Miwako Kobayashi .... makeup artist
Mutsuki Sakai .... hair stylist
 
Production Management
Eitarô Kobayashi .... assistant production manager
Bong-ou Lee .... assistant production manager
Yasushi Minatoya .... unit production manager
Osamu Shiraishi .... executive in charge of production
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Masatada Hirabayashi .... assistant director
Kiichi Kumagai .... first assistant director
 
Art Department
Ayu Hasuike .... props
Kôichi Horiuchi .... assistant art director
Takehiro Ishitani .... props
Masatoshi Katô .... props
Ayako Matsuo .... props
Akio Saito .... props
Emiko Tsuyuki .... props
 
Sound Department
Masaki Ikeda .... boom operator
Tetsuya Kaida .... boom operator
Osamu Matsumoto .... boom operator
Shuji Ohtake .... assistant sound
Akihiko Okase .... sound effects editor
Yoshiteru Takahashi .... sound editor
Kazuhiko Tomita .... boom operator
Yutaka Tsurumaki .... sound
Kazuharu Urata .... sound editor
 
Visual Effects by
Shô Rizawa .... opticals
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Saiko Hashimoto .... assistant photographer
Gen Hirai .... camera operator
Yoshihiro Ikeuchi .... assistant photographer
Rinko Kawauchi .... still photographer
Takayuki Matsui .... photographer
Isao Nozaki .... camera operator
Yuzuru Sato .... gaffer
Toshio Suzuki .... camera operator
Yoshihisa Toda .... assistant camera
Yoshihisa Toda .... assistant photographer
 
Editorial Department
Reiko Kikuike .... negative cutter
Masayuki Mitsuhashi .... colour timing
Yukiko Okabe .... negative cutter
Yôko Satô .... negative cutter
Yoshiko Tsujii .... negative cutter
 
Music Department
Titi Matsumura .... musician
Gonzalez Mikami .... musician
 
Other crew
Kaoru Kasai .... publicity design
Manami Kishira .... publicity design
Fumi Miyazaki .... publicity design
Atsushi Naito .... legal service
Asako Nishikawa .... stage manager
Yoshiko Sakazaki .... stage manager
Shiho Sato .... advertising
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Dare mo shiranai" - Japan (original title)
See more »
MPAA:
Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements and some sexual references
Runtime:
141 min | Argentina:141 min (Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The director Hirokazu Koreeda held extensive auditions to cast the four children, and the actors were all nonprofessionals. Also, during the casting, a little girl came in with noisy sandals. The director liked it so much that he brought it over to Yuki's character when searching for her mother. He also did not give the children detailed explanations of their roles, because he wanted them to be natural.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: When Akira buys the stack of chocolates for Yuki near the end of the movie, he buys 19 boxes and the total comes to 1,895 yen. As there was no sales tax at the time Japan, each box would have to be priced at 99.74 yen - which is essentially impossible.See more »
Quotes:
Keiko, the mother:Now that we've moved into a new home, I'm gonna explain the rules to you, one more time. Let's promise to keep 'em, okay?
Yuki:Okay. How many are there?
Keiko, the mother:Okay, first of all: No loud voices or screaming. Can you do that?
Yuki:I can.
Keiko, the mother:Okay, next: No going outside.
Yuki:Okay.
Keiko, the mother:Can you do that? No even out on the veranda.
Yuki:Okay, Mommy.
Keiko, the mother:"Okay, Mommy." Can you keep that promise?
Yuki:Sure!
[...]
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
HousekiSee more »

FAQ

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104 out of 113 people found the following review useful.
A compelling portrait of the world of abandoned children, 6 March 2005
Author: Chris Knipp from Berkeley, California

"Nobody Knows" is painful to watch. It's a story you won't shake off, depicting the most defenseless of humans -- four young children, the oldest only twelve -- trapped in growing poverty and abandonment. It's a process-narrative of devolution that makes you feel helpless and angry and sad. It's saved from mawkishness by the natural energy of the children playing the roles of the four kids. And if it survives, its not because of its treatment of a social issue so much as for its evocation of the precise details of childhood.

There are two main subjects here. One is criminal neglect: the story is loosely based on events that happened in Tokyo in 1988. The other is the private, often secret, lives of children. Koreeda began as a documentary filmmaker and this seems to have given him exceptional skill in working with people and capturing their natural reactions. The winning, tragic children in "Nobody Knows," four half-siblings with different fathers and the same childish, selfish mother, never seem to be acting and often no doubt aren't. Nonetheless the subtlety of expression in the delicate, mobile, beautiful face of the older boy, young Yûya Yagira, was such that it won him the Best Actor award at Cannes last year.

Also important is Koreeda's gift for detail, his meditative examinations of fingernails, feet, a toy piano, video games, pieces of paper, objects strewn around a room, the hundreds of little soft drink bottles that are everywhere in Japan, plants, dirt, all the small things children see because they're closer to the ground. And the things they accept because they're defenseless and innocent, but also incredibly adaptable.

Akira, who's only ten and whose voice changed during year spent making the movie, is in charge. As their mother's absences become lengthier and the children finally seem to be abandoned for good, money runs out. Akira is captain of a sinking ship, a somber duty, but he and his little sisters and brother keep finding time to laugh and play.

Koreeda's a passionately serious filmmaker: the two better known of his earlier fiction films deal with death and loss and here he considers as a given the worst of human carelessness and indifference both by society and the individual. "Maborosi" (1995) was a homage to Ozu but without Ozu's sense of social connectedness; it begins with an isolated couple in the city and chronicles a young widow's second marriage in the country through a slow pastiche of observed daily scenes where event and even dialogue are minimal concerns. The content of "Maborosi" is too thin, but the images and color are exquisite and the sequences of natural, unrehearsed-looking scenes achieve an impressively rich, beautiful, zen-like calm. "After Life" (1998) uses actual recollections of older people talking to the camera to build up a fantasy about dead souls held temporarily in a bureaucratic pre-Heaven limbo being asked to choose a single favorite memory to take with them into eternity: the effect is perplexing, thought-provoking, charming, and with great economy of means, cinematic.

"Nobody Knows" isn't as brilliant or resolved as "After Life" or as exquisitely visual as "Maborosi," but for all its rambling excessive length it delivers a quantity of undigested patient misery and joy that will evoke such noble antecedents from the classic world of cinematic humanism as Clément's "Forbidden Games," De Sica's "Bicycle Thief," and the homeless father and son living on garbage in Kurosawa's Do-des-ka-den.

What's new here though is a sense of the encompassing otherness of big modern cities and the stoicism and resiliency of childhood (and perhaps also of the Japanese personality). Keiko, the childish, weak, spoiled mother (played effectively -- we instantly hate her -- by You, who's some sort of pop star in Japan), sneaks three of her four children into the new apartment and tells them they can't go out, can't show themselves even on the balcony. (In the real event, this was largely because they were illegitimate and had no papers, but here the explanation is that their noise may get them evicted.) Only Akira can leave, and she won't let him or the others go to school. They're prisoners of their urban anonymity and of an impersonal contemporary society.

As in Andrew Berkin's "Cement Garden," the children also pretend everything's okay to escape the cruelty of the social welfare system. We watch agonizingly -- and many writers say the movie's somewhat too long; it does feel thus especially during the first hour -- but this time Koreeda's world is more direct and specific than before and there's plenty of talk. The children chatter among themselves. Eventually they go out and mix a bit by day with other children. Akira even talks to himself; he has to, because there's no adult coaching him so he must impersonate an elder adviser.

Whatever its roughness and excess, "Nobody Knows" is intense and powerful film-making. Koreeda has put his whole heart and soul into this movie and with it achieves an experience you can't shrug off. Nor will you forget the kids, especially the beautiful boy, Yûya Yagira, who may be growing inch by inch into a star even as we speak.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Nobody Knows (2004)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Am I the only one who thought the mother was a prostitute? chris-olson2
Grave of the Fireflies reference? manicm
What did Saki do for the money? danib60
Did her voice annoy the hell out of anyone else? philistine-985-817685
nice photo of the cast blx118
Nobody Knows soundtrack... blx118
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