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Keeping it in the family—the art of Hirokazu Koreeda

The director casts a humane eye on modern Japan

By Sameer Rahim  
A scene from Nobody Knows by Hirokazu Koreeda

A scene from Nobody Knows by Hirokazu Koreeda


The Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Koreeda is fascinated by what makes a family. Shoplifters, which came out last year, follows a poor couple living in modern Tokyo who regularly filch food to survive. At the start, it’s easy to assume that the old lady with whom they live, and the youngsters hanging around form a proper—if hard-up—nuclear family. Gradually, though, you realise they are a group of drifters brought together by circumstances. What starts…

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