Ryota is a successful workaholic businessman. When he learns that his biological son was switched with another boy after birth, he faces the difficult decision to choose his true son or the boy he and his wife have raised as their own.
Twelve-year-old Koichi, who has been separated from his brother Ryunosuke due to his parents' divorce, hears a rumor that the new bullet trains will precipitate a wish-granting miracle when they pass each other at top speed.
Members of a cult, modeled on Aum Shinrikyo, sabotage a city's water supply, then commit mass suicide near the shores of a lake. Family members of those affected by it meet at the lake to observe the anniversary of their loved ones' deaths.
Jong-su bumps into a girl who used to live in the same neighborhood as him, who asks him to look after her cat while on a trip to Africa. When back, she introduces Ben, a mysterious guy she met there, who confesses his secret hobby.
In Tokyo, the reckless single mother Keiko moves to a small apartment with her twelve years old son Akira Fukushima and hidden in the luggage, his siblings Shigeru and Yuki. Kyoko, another sibling arrives later by train. The children have different fathers and do not have schooling, but they have a happy life with their mother. When Keiko finds a new boyfriend, she leaves the children alone, giving some money to Akira and assigning him to take care of his siblings. When the money runs out, Akira manages to find means to survive with the youngsters without power supply, gas or water at home, and with the landlord asking for the rent.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil who never watched the movie based on his comments about 3 children in luggage when there were only two.
Hirokazu Koreeda wrote the first draft of the screenplay fifteen years before the film was actually made. At that point it was titled "Wonderful Sunday" and unfolded from Akira's subjective point of view, ending with a fantasy sequence in which the entire family (the children, the mother and the various fathers) are reunited for a Sunday outing. See more »
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 »
"Children can not choose their parents" This was what came into my mind after I saw this movie.
This movie is based on actual incident happened in 1988. It was much more miserable than the movie. A woman was living with a man. She thought he had filed the marriage notification. When their son was born, the man said he had filed the birth notification. One day he left her to live with another woman. When the boy reached the primary school age, she knew neither the marriage notification nor the birth notification were filed. Facing this situation, she decided to hide her children from the society. (According to another source, the mother told the police that she thought the birth notification of a bastard child would not be accepted.)
She had met several men and had 5 children, two boys and three girls, who were not registered and hidden from other people. When the second boy died of sick, she hid the corps in the closet. While she works in a department store, the eldest son took care of three sisters. When the eldest son was 14, she went out to live with her new man, who was 16 years older than her. She gave the eldest son her address. When the children were protected by the police half a year later, a girl was dead, and the two were debilitated, as they were confined in a room and poorly fed. The girls were 3 and 2 y/o and still used diapers, but they were changed only once every day. It is reported that the eldest boy blamed himself for not being able to take good care of his sisters, instead of blaming his mother...
Compared to the real story, the movie is less miserable. In the movie, even the little boy and girl look normal and pretty, but in the real story they were very poorly developed. But it was still more than enough to surprise me. What a mother! In a conversation with the eldest boy, she says "May I not become happy?" She acts on this thought, without thinking of the same right about her children. Her childish lisping talk describes her immaturity. And of course, men were more guilty. Sadly, children can not choose their parents.
Every child acted amazingly well, very natural. Particularly, the eyes of the eldest boy, Akira, are very impressive. The eyes tell many things from their miserable life.
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