Symbol (2009)
"Shinboru" (original title)

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A man wakes up alone in a brightly illuminated white room with no windows or doors. When he presses a mysteriously phallic protuberance that appears on one wall, a pink toothbrush ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Hitoshi Matsumoto
David Quintero
Luis Accinelli
(as Lillian Tapia)
Ivana Wong
Arkangel De La Muerte
Matcho Panpu ...
(as Misuteru Kakao)
Dick Togo ...
(as Dick Tôgô)
Salam Diagne
Chris Gurundy
Nik Sliwerski
Jonathan Hicks


A man wakes up alone in a brightly illuminated white room with no windows or doors. When he presses a mysteriously phallic protuberance that appears on one wall, a pink toothbrush materializes from nowhere, clattering to the floor and setting in motion a genuinely bizarre chain of events. Soon the imprisoned man is engaged in absurd and hilarious attempts to escape the gleaming room, releasing random objects from the walls, creating a life sized mouse trap game in which a rope, a toilet plunger and an earthenware jug full of sushi might just be the keys to his escape. Meanwhile, in a dusty town, a green masked Mexican wrestler known as Escargot Man prepares for an important match. His family gathers around him, worried about his seeming impassivity before battle. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

room | escape | wrestler | sushi | rope | See All (22) »


Comedy | Fantasy


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Release Date:

12 September 2009 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Symbol  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Symbol: Ending Theme
Written by Yasuaki Shimizu
Performed by Yasuaki Shimizu and Saxophonettes
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User Reviews

Great weird film!
7 October 2010 | by (London, UK) – See all my reviews

"One of the weirdest movies you'll ever see" and "El Topo meets 2001 Space Odyssey meets Nacho Libre meets a routine by Steven Wright or Eddie Izzard" are just some quotes used to describe Hitoshi Matsumotos second film Symbol (Shinboru) the word I've been using to describe it to people is just "weird".

Symbol begins in Mexico where a family is eating breakfast. The father is wearing a wrestling mask and is soon picked up by a swearing Nun who has a severe case of road rage to take him to where he'll be fighting that night. The film then cuts to a Japanese man wearing spotty pyjamas who wakes up in a large, completely white room. He doesn't know where he is or how he got there and he begins to search the room for any clues. He pushes what he thinks is a button and hundreds of laughing naked cherubs appear out of the walls, they soon disappear back into the walls leaving nothing other than remnants of their tiny willies on the paintwork, the man starts to scream and the craziness begins!

The man presses a willy and a toothbrush is thrown into the room from a wall, he continues to push many of them around the room and all sorts of objects appear, jars, sushi, magazines, a person who runs from one side of the room to another, a whole array of random objects. He soon realises that one of the willies reveals a door in the room but it always disappears by the time he gets to it, what then unfolds is him trying to find a way to escape from the room using different objects for different purposes, it seems almost like a video game.

In Mexico everyone is doubting that the father wrestler who's stage name is Escargot Man will win the fight, but it's soon revealed that he's secretly got someone to help him in the fight. The film is set half in the white room and half in Mexico, during the film it appears the two stories have no relevance to one another but by the end they do.

It's a very funny script and excellent acting by all characters but especially by director Hitoshi Matsumotos who plays the main unnamed Japanese character in the film. You have to have patience to watch this film, it takes quite a while to get into but once I got past the "What is going on?" stage but I really enjoyed it. It's quite silly in its jokes so don't go into the cinema thinking you're watching a serious arty film because it's anything but.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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