“SHOPLIFTERS” is a drama, family and crime film directed by Hirokazu Kore, starring 6 actors. It was exhibited at the Berlin Film festival in May 13rd, 2018 and won the 71st Berlin Film Festival Golden Palm Award.

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(Image credit: https://movie.douban.com/photos/photo/2522589535/)

The 71st Cannes Film Festival, which lasted for 12 days has ended, the Japanese director Hirokazu Kore won the Golden Palm Award with “SHOPLIFTERS”. In this work, Hirokazu Kore not only explores the themes of the family but introduces social intervention and evaluation, which makes the work more meaningful and deep. The story revolves around an old and poor residential area. The big family lived in a small house full of the garbage, the biggest source of incomes in this family comes from the ex-husband’s pension of the “grandma”. The couple Osamu and Nobuyo have the work and their sister Aki works for a special service. Father Osamu and son Shota often theft to maintain home and pick up a girl Yuri who was beaten and bruised. The poor family is friendly to the child not for the money that we were anesthetized by the warmth of this family. But with the developing of the story, the accident attracted the intervention of social forces after a failed theft. The cross-examination and questioning of the family after the social involvement, each sentence opened the secret which cannot tell people. We learned that these people were picked up by each other to form a family. Some truths even contained horror components.


This film reflects the current society of Japan, the issue of domestic violence on the mother, the unemployment problem on the father, the elderly living alone happened on the grandmother, the girl assistant and the abandon of the child. We also see two aspects of the relationship in this film. From the social perspective, the original family cannot be broken, it means that no matter the parents treat the girl, she should go back home. However, from the perspective of six people, although they are not the families in law, they would like to depend on each other and seek for the warmth that is more precious. They bond with each other not only for money but also the love. The son in the film expressed that it is so nice if they can select their parents and the father want to build a good example for the son although he knows the theft is detrimental. The director’s lens shows that life has always been unfair and some people have suffered the greatest misfortune at birth.


At the end of the film, the grandmother said “thanks before dying and the son called “father” to Osamu, but both of them do not say it in front of the family. At the same time, they all come back to their own home. It just like the director Hirokazu Kore wants to illustrate that he does not want to heal anyone through the film. He hopes to use the film as the medium of “communication” to see the world and see himself.




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