It came from a Japanese newspaper story: a down-and-out family were making their young son fake road accidents in order to blackmail motorists for 'hospital fees'. Oshima starts from character studies of the members of the family as outsiders in Japanese society: the lazy, facilely embittered father, the tackily glamorous mother longing for her stepson's love, the 10-year-old boy hopelessly confused about his role as the family breadwinner. With characteristic tender roughness, Oshima then develops this extraordinary story into an open-ended question about the truth of appearances, centering on the boy's own fantasies about his sci-fi hero. A key film in the struggle for a modern, political cinema.
Cast and crew