Synopsis by Mark Deming
Hirokazu Kore-eda, who wrote and directed the international success After Life, returns with this story about a family dealing with an unusual dilemma in an unusual manner. Keiko (You) is a single mother who moves with her 12-year-old son, Akira (Yuya Yagira), into a small flat in a large city; however, what the building management doesn't know is that Keiko also has three other children, all fathered by different men: ten-year-old Kyoko (Ayu Kitaura), seven-year-old Shigeru (Hiei Kimura), and four-year-old Yuki (Momoko Shimizu). One day, Akira finds a note from his mother, saying that she'll be away for a while and that he's in charge while she's gone; the message is accompanied by an envelope full of money. Akira takes this news in stride, since it isn't the first time this has happened; he sees to it that the bills are paid, Kyoko takes care of the housework, and the youngest kids look after one another. But days stretch into weeks and it becomes clear that Kieko may not be coming back for a while. At first, the children try to keep up appearances as if their mother were still around, but as time goes on and money gets low, things become increasingly chaotic, and Keiko starts running out of ways to dodge the landlord and keep their problem a secret. Daremo Shiranai was inspired by actual events known in Japan as The Affair of the Four Abandoned Children of Nishi-Sugamo, though Kore-eda's version differs considerably from what occurred in real life.
abandonment, apartment, child-rearing, family-abandonment, housework, landlord, single-parent