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Nobody Knows (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version) DVD Region 2

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Nobody Knows (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version)
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Customer Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9 out of 10 (10)
All Editions Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8.7 out of 10 (11)

YesAsia Editorial Description

The surprise winner at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival, Nobody Knows' leading man (boy), the 14-year-old actor Yagira Yuuya defeated the likes of Tony Leung, Tom Hanks and Geoffrey Rush to win Best Actor Award, becoming the youngest winner in Cannes history. Since Cannes, Kore-eda Hirokazu's film has been accepted into prestigious film festivals such as Toronto, London and Pusan, as well as receiving critical acclaim in cities where the film has opened commercially. While it might not have an all-star cast, stunning special effects or a huge budget, Nobody Knows proves that all a film needs to succeed is a good story and a production that is taken seriously!

Nobody Knows tells of a family in Tokyo where four children live with their mother in a small apartment. All the children have different fathers, never been to school, and three are living in hiding from the landlord. One day, their mother decides to go away to look for her boyfriend, and leaves her eldest son Akira (Yagira Yuya) a note and a little money to take care of his siblings in her temporary absence. But when the mother fails to return, the children are left to survive on their own, thus beginning their survival tale, one that nobody knows.

The extraordinary journey this film has embarked on is carefully documented in the bonus material included in this DVD pack. The bonus disc contains trailers, TV spots, a making-of featurette that includes the footage from Cannes, the music video "Jewels", an interview with director Koreeda Hirokazu, as well as photographs taken by Koreeda!

© 2005-2024 Ltd. All rights reserved. This original content has been created by or licensed to, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of

Technical Information

Product Title: Nobody Knows (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version) 誰知赤子心 (日本版 - 英文字幕) 谁知赤子心 (日本版 - 英文字幕) 誰も知らない Nobody Knows (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version)
Also known as: Dare mo Shiranai Dare mo Shiranai Dare mo Shiranai Dare mo Shiranai Dare mo Shiranai
Artist Name(s): Terajima Susumu | YOU | Kan Hanae | Kase Ryo | Hiraizumi Sei | Yagira Yuya | Kitaura Ayu | Shimizu Momoko | Kimura Hiei 寺島進 | YOU | 韓英惠 | 加瀨亮 | 平泉成 | 柳樂優彌 | 北浦愛 | 清水萌萌子 | 木村飛影 寺岛进 | YOU | Kan Hanae | 加濑亮 | 平泉成 | 柳乐优弥 | 北浦爱 | 清水萌萌子 | 木村飞影 テラジマススム | YOU | 韓英恵 | 加瀬亮 | 平泉成 | 柳楽優弥 | 北浦愛 | 清水萌々子 | 木村飛影 Terajima Susumu | YOU | Kan Hanae | 카세 료 | Hiraizumi Sei | Yagira Yuya | Kitaura Ayu | Shimizu Momoko | Kimura Hiei
Director: Kore-eda Hirokazu 是枝 裕和 是枝裕和 是枝裕和 고레에다 히로카즈
Release Date: 2005-03-11
Publisher Product Code: BCBJ-2057
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: English, Japanese
Place of Origin: Japan
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: 2 - Japan, Europe, South Africa, Greenland and the Middle East (including Egypt) What is it?
Other Information: DVD
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1003926968

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Nobody Knows (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version)"

May 24, 2005

Hirokazu Kore-eda's docu-style drama Nobody Knows is something of a study in human devolution and flawed society. Based on the true story of a family of four abandoned by their mother, it's perhaps not as shocking as something you might see on the nightly news, but then that wasn't really the director's intention, to shock. Instead, with a subtle hand, Kore-eda questions. His subtle, almost-there commentary about the state of the modern family, social and individual responsibility and the intrinsic needs of youth is lovely, painful, inspiring and disturbing in turns. It might have been easy to sensationalise this content, to preach right and wrongs; and with a lesser director that would have almost certainly been the case, yet this particular director avoids such overt heartstring tugging in favour of a more sympathetic view.

It's this more than anything that stands as testimony to Kore-eda's astonishing sensitivity and feeling. Never judge, only observer, he draws back a curtain to reveal a poignant reality that might have been, in anyone else's hands, an exercise in denial. Akira (Yuuya Yagira) is the oldest son in a fatherless family, responsible seemingly beyond his years. After helping smuggle his two younger sisters and younger brother into their new apartment, he settles into an obviously familiar routine, shopping, cooking, keeping his siblings in order and struggling through homework he has set himself because neither he nor the others have ever been allowed to go to school. Out of the four of them he's the only one really even allowed to leave the house, and therefore the only one with even a remotely normal understanding of the outside world. When his mother Keiko, played capably and convincingly by You (Stereo Future, Moonchild), comes and goes in his family's life in increasingly lengthy intervals, and seems little more than a child herself, it becomes more and more apparent that he is the one keeping this odd little unit together. Keiko's carefree (or perhaps careless) actions, her youthful looks and sweet, childish demeanour make it hard to believe she has ever been old enough to support and care for four children on her own.

The tragedy of this story is that, in fact, she isn't.

The fascination with this tragedy is in watching the illusion of responsibility shatter in Akira's role as surrogate caretaker in his mother's absence. Keiko's own innocence, her inability to live up to the realities of what society says the role of a single mother ought to involve becomes increasingly, discomfortingly easy to understand watching Akira face the same pressures of becoming a parent too soon. He keeps everyone to the routine of living, managing bills and begging money from men who may or may not be fathers to the four abandoned children, but the scaffolding established by the only authority figure he and his siblings have ever really known only holds for a while. Eventually, under pressure he was never meant to bear, Akira's yearnings for a 'normal' life become increasingly seductive until he is functioning more like the twelve-year old boy he is, rather than the father he never actually was.

It's difficult to say this film is enjoyable to watch. It makes you feel something, certainly, but it's hard to determine what. Mild shock and sorrow, yes but there is something innocent and pleasing in the way Kore-eda shows the children constructing their own meaning from the foundations of the world left to them. He uses that childlike playfulness and sense of wonder at the new to show that while we are looking on from the outside in mild horror, those on the inside, who haven't known any differently, make do with what they have almost instinctively. And maybe it's the fact that this isn't something restricted solely to the realm of youth, that sometimes people make their own rules when they can't meet the ones the world hands them, that it truly Kore-eda's point. He handles things so simply and without embellishment, that it's difficult to lay blame on any one person, particularly the mother. His camera is gentle and real, intimate without intruding, and if the adage of never working with animals or children was ever true, it certainly doesn't seem to apply to this director. What he brings out in these four child-actors, over the course of a year's chronological filming, is truly, truly amazing. Little wonder that Yagira won Best Actor at Cannes in 2004.

Inarguably a story-teller of compassion and depth, Kore-eda is not so much making his mark on Japanese film as he is making his heartfelt way in the world and allowing us a glimpse of the way he sees it. Considering such potentially shocking subject matter as child neglect and abandonment, to be able to ask the right questions, rather than point an accusing finger, is a rare talent indeed.

8.5 Bottles of Red Nail Polish out of 10

by Deni Stoner -

Editor's Pick of "Nobody Knows (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version)"

Picked By Sanwei
See all this editor's picks

March 13, 2007

A Child's World Through Adult Eyes
I watch around 20 to 30 films a month. Some are quite good, some are quite bad, most fall in that vast spectrum in between to be mildly enjoyed and gradually forgotten. And then there are the films that stay for long after. Kore-eda Hirokazu's Nobody Knows ranks as one of my all-time favorites for the simple reason that I shed more tears watching it than any other film in my life. There are plenty of more tragically tearjerking movies out there, but Nobody Knows connects exactly because it is so subtle and straightforward in presentation. Without the familiar melodramatic cues or grand messages, the film's painfully realistic progression becomes all the more wrenching and compelling.

The story is disarmingly simple and low-key, revolving around how four children cope when their flighty mother (YOU) abandons them. Oldest son Akira (Yagira Yuya) takes on the responsibility of maintaining the household and caring for his siblings, a task he is all too familiar with. Left to their own devices, the children initially manage relatively well, finding pleasure in playing house and running free in a way that reminds of the children's book series Boxcar Children. But their lives slowly derail as money runs out.

For the most part, Nobody Knows is simply peeking into the children's fragile lives, following them around without judgment as they revel in hesitant joys and face mounting obstacles. The camera is unobtrusive, and the child actors are natural and endearing, allowed to just be themselves. The film occurs from the children's perspective; they partially understand that things are going terribly wrong, but at the same time can't fully grasp the significance, so there are no great emotional ups and downs. The film is viewed, however, from the adult perspective, so we know that things can only get worse, even as we're being charmed by their hazy moments of happiness. When the telltale signs start emerging - stringy hair, drooped eyes, stained shirts, piling bills and trash bags - heaviness and uneasiness settle in. Akira, though wise beyond his years, is still frustratingly adolescent behind his somber, fair-featured face; he does what he can, but he can't possibly do enough.

What makes the film particularly poignant is how reasonably human everyone is. Though the mother has abandoned them, one senses that she's not so much an unloving mother, but a lost woman-child incapable of even taking care of herself. Similarly, the would-be fathers are clearly not bad people, and the local convenience store clerks give the children helping hands. But what's missing is that fairy tale moment when an adult, in recognizing that something is clearly not right here, swoops in to right wrongs. As things fall apart for the children, people around them notice, have doubts, have questions, but leave it at that. They help a little but not enough, because the responsibility does not fall upon their shoulders. There is no blaming, no resolution, and that's what makes the story hurt.

The film perhaps especially affected me when I saw it because I was a teacher at the time, and the youngest girl, Yuki (Shimizu Momoko), was a spitting image of one of my students. From the voice to the smile to the facial expressions, she looked so much like my student I immediately associated the two together, which proved to be a rather big emotional investment. The day after watching the film, I looked a little more closely at all my students, wondering what I dismissed or didn't notice enough on a daily basis. Though Nobody Knows remains simple and unassuming throughout, it ends up a great deal more affecting and soul-searching than films with bigger stories and more overt heart-tugging lessons. If the sobering realism of the story and the subtle, raw performances of the children don't touch something inside, then I probably don't want to know you.

Feature articles that mention "Nobody Knows (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version)"

This original content has been created by or licensed to, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of

Customer Review of "Nobody Knows (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version)"

Average Customer Rating for this Edition: Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9 out of 10 (10)
Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8.7 out of 10 (11)

See all my reviews

March 24, 2006

Do Not Miss This Movie! Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
Deeply moving and poignant. The young actors were
fabulous especially the young teenager who was
well deserving of all the accolades bestowed on
Did you find this review helpful? Yes (Report This)
See all my reviews

March 11, 2006

Brave Children Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
At the first time, I looked at this movie, I thought was something like "Oh the poor children" and put it back on the shelf at the movie store. Later I came back to the store, then looking around for more movies to rent, and look at that movie again. I think maybe I should rent it and see what it was like.

So I watched whole this movie, and I was shock how those VERY poorly bravely children trying to surivive without mother. Inside my heart, I was very mad about their mother leaving and came back being drunk, and the behave of hers around the kids. It was very hateful when I see her mom packing her kids inside the briefcase during the hot weather. All I see her is lying, careless, drunkard, and very suspection. It was very hurtful when that little girl fell off the chair.

I think this is the best movie of all Japanese movie I ever seen! Much much better than Ringu, Ju-On, other Japanese horror movies. It help me to remember what the reality, soul, and love movie is really like, maybe because I watched too much horror movies. I can't believe that I put it back on the shelf at first place! (excuse me if my English is bad)
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June 26, 2005

Reality is hard to watch! Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
Reality is Hard to Watch!!

Watching the moview broke my heart. It brought tears to my eyes many times. Watching a kid taking care of his siblings was a difficult for me. Do these things actually take place in Japan? Is the same Japan we see in the commercials? Life in pursuit of the mighthy Yuan is a very complex business. Nobody knows, nor do they want to care. Akura's performance was stellar. Watching Akura when he goes with his girlfriend to the airport to bury her sister (who died while fallen from a chair in his absence) is difficult. Only in the mind of a child we could find a similar answer to a compelling problem such as the one he was facing.

Kids should be always wanted. They deserved to be loved. Parents need to think twice about their obligations and responsibilities before engaging in the business of making kids.!! All my love goes to the hundreds of Akiras living whether in advanced or developing countries.

Excellent movie. Respectful yet tasteful treatment of the subject.

Jairo Viafara.
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June 17, 2005

Its Incredibly Moving Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
I agree the movie is long; however, I can't imagine or compare it with the long days and nights of these brave homeless children. The human element is so raw in this film; we rarely see this in "hollywood hits". If this movie doesn't move you or touch your heart, you're really lost with reality. I cried my eyes out, my sister has four children, the thought of them alone against the world is not scary but the thought of them alone with people who are oblivious to the plight of homeless and/or orphaned children is inconceivable and insensitive. It's one of the best films ever made. Please continue to make films with soul.
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June 12, 2005

My thoughts Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10

It is true that the movie seems to go on forever and that it just gets more and more depressing into the film but while watching it you never notice the length of the film. You’re only thoughts are “Who is going to help these kids out?”
The reason why this movie is so "thought provoking" is because we see how two-faced society can be!
In my opinion I thought the film was great and the actors were somewhat believable. The only problem I had with the movie was that the people who encountered the kids didn’t get suspicious about their living situation. That part wasn’t believable to me. Other than that it was a great film.
Hate it or like it, it will get your mind running on how devious people are, even if they are your mom.
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