After some time away, we’re happy to announce we’re back with a new season of IFFR KINO! For Season 5, celebrating our upcoming 50th festival edition in 2021, we asked KINO Rotterdam to select their favourite IFFR films of all time. They made four special selections. One screening every month, from October until January. First up on 7 October is Nobody Knows (2004) by Kore-eda Hirokazu.

Züleyha Azman, Marketing Director KINO Rotterdam on her selection: 
“Everybody has that one film they want everybody to see, for me that film is Nobody Knows, one of my IFFR favourites. Kore-eda Hirokazu’s craftsmanship as a storyteller and director all come together in this film, which for me, can be regarded as his best film (followed by Like Father, Like Son) and definitely should have earned him the Palme d’Or back in 2004, 14 years prior to Shoplifters (2018).

The story, which is based on true events, almost entirely takes place in a tiny Tokyo apartment and yet keeps the viewer interested in the heartbreaking story and very small world of these abandoned children. This tragic story never becomes melodramatic, the director has a subtle way in showing (not telling) us the story, and yet the viewer can also feel the critical tone towards Japanese society as well.

And of course, I can’t talk about this film without mentioning the beautiful performances by the child actors, all of whom were non-professionals. The performance by Yūya Yagira as the eldest son, Akira, won him the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival.

If after this film you would like to see something similar, I can recommend the Taiwanese film A Time To Live and A Time to Die (1985) directed by Hou Hsiao-Hsien. In the documentary Flowers of Taipei (previously on IFFR Unleashed), Kore-eda Hirokazu mentions that this film made him pursue a career in filmmaking, so it’s no coincidence these two films bear a lot of similarities in storytelling and style.” 

Japan, 2004, Kore-eda Hirokazu, 141’. Spoken language Japanese. English subtitles.

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