Four children who live with their mom in poverty try to survive. They live in secret, to avoid an extra charge on their apartment. They cannot go outside, if they do, it has to be in secret. One day, their mom abandons them. They will have a hard struggle to survive...
A mother of four children moves in to a new appartement in a very unique way. One of the children is walking with her, the other three are hidden in luggage. Only the oldest son is allowed to go out, the other three are locked up inside. And then the mother disappears. How will three children aged from 6 to 12 survive with a bit of money their mother left them?
This movie is based on a real case form Japan, where the mother abandoned her children. I wouldn't call it a bad movie, but since I am the type to watch movies to enjoy myself rather than being reminded of the cruel world, I couldn't really rate it better. It is not a bad movie, but it is saddening and depressing to watch and think how this really happened. This movie shows many of the social problems Japan had back in 2004 and still has. For example nobody seems to think they have to do something about the children who live alone. And then there is regular bullying. There is the issue of a good friend of the oldest son trying to prostitute herself to get some money for the kids and so on. There is a lot of serious stuff and even though the movie is not bad, it's not what I want to watch. So it get's 2* from, but a warm recommendation to everyone who likes realistic films that tell you the problems of a society. If you are interested in Japan, you should try and think outside of the frames while watching the movie, since it can teach you a lot about the japanese society.
I'm personally not much of a fan of stuff drawn from reality itself -- it always runs the risk of comparison with the actual events, to the good and to the bad.
Having informed myself about the incident after having watched the film, I must say the director has managed to distill the spirit of the original cruelty of the mother and nonetheless the thriving spirit of the young into a very convincing result. I kept asking myself during the film how it would continue, and I was not disappointed or disconvinced that indeed this could happen in reality. Shocking, but not unreal. Recommended.
Although yami no kodomotachi doesn't have a similar plotline to dare mo shiranai, the general theme is the same: abused and abandoned children who are exposed to the world's most disgusting, cruel and saddening side. Both handle the subject of how vulnerable children are and thus focus on subjects that are generally avoided by the public. So, if you feel like you want to get your eyes opened a bit then both films are made for that.