The Japanese film Nobody Knows, directed by Kore-Eda Hirozaku revolves around a mother with four children that moved into their new home in Tokyo. It is based on a true event that took place in 1988 known as the Sugamo child abandonment case.
At first, their mother spends valuable time with their children just like all mothers should. She decides to leave her older son Akira with taking care of his siblings Yuki, Shigeru, and Kyoko. Akira has to take on major responsibilities that most young children do have to worry about until they get older. Some of these responsibilities include washing dishes, cooking dinner, and buying food while getting his homework done.
In the film, Akira’s mother comes back home from a long day and helps him with his homework while attending to the needs of her other kids. Over time, she decided to leave her children behind for good. It proved to be a huge mistake and her children suffered greatly for it. All children need their mother in their lives to guide and provide them with love.
Unfortunately, Akira’s mother was more focused on living her own life than raising her children properly. Therefore, the children struggled to survive on their own. In my opinion, their mother was not ready to become a responsible parent and her children were forced to adapt to the harsh realities of daily life.
This brings me to the myth that the mainstream media portrays about absent black fathers in their children’s lives. Unfortunately, many people tend to dismiss the black man as a threat to society because they pay to much attention to what the media says. Black men, in particular, continue to endure racism on a daily basis and get told they do not take care of their children.
The problem is that there are black men that are present in their children’s lives, but they do not get the recognition that they deserve. According to an article last year titled The Absent Black Father: Let’s Shatter the Myth This Father’s Day “Of African-American fathers surveyed who live with their children, 40.6% helped their children with their homework or checked to make sure that they finished it daily compared with 29.3% of white fathers and 34.9% read to their children daily compared with 24.9% of white fathers(Savali, page 1).” It is important that black fathers continue to promote positive relationships with their children.
A similar theme that I found between the film and relationship that black men have with their sons is the importance of family. Despite the odds, maintaining unity among your family will help you endure difficult times and continue striving towards becoming the best version of yourself.
View trailer from the film below: