This film provides a glimpse at a side of Japan we don't usually see on film. Yes, there is (petty) crime in Japan; yes, there are poor people in Japan; and yes, there is a welfare system in Japan. The impression of all is pristine and proper in Japan is dispelled, and we see a more realistic, human side of the culture. I'm not sure if the hype is what spoiled it for me, but I will say there are some very good performances here, but the story is nothing exceptional except for the fact that it's taking place in Japan.
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A Japanese couple stuck with part-time jobs and hence inadequate incomes avail themselves of the fruits of shoplifting to make ends meet. They are not alone in this behaviour. The younger and the older of the household are in on the act. The unusual routine is about to change from care-free and matter-of-fact to something more dramatic, however, as the couple open their doors to a beleaguered young girl. The reasons for the family's habit and their motivations come under the microscope.
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