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Nobody Knows is a moving film about four children left to fend for themselves by their unfit mother. The lead, Yuya Yagira (who plays Akira), was named Best Actor at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival, while the movie was nominated as Japan’s Academy Award Foreign Language Film entry. Its a story of survival in their small bubble of a world, with Akira doing the shopping and taking on the father role, introverted Kyoko doing the laundry, Shigera causing trouble, and Yuki being really cute. Its both touching and depressing, interspersing their moments of survival- scraping together enough money for manju, or picking up out-of-date onigiri from the combini, with moments of joy- them playing on the swings, or Akira’s sudden drafting onto a local school baseball team. Its beautiful, depressing, and the young actors who fill the roles are truly impressive, particularly the lead, Yuya Yagira.

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