Festival de Cannes 70: Yûya Yagira, 2004

A sunny shout-out to 70 winners at the Cannes Film Festival to celebrate the 70th event which is just around the corner – in no particular order.

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Loosely, but integrally, based on an actual child abandonment case, director Hirokazu Koreeda has made a true-to-life gem with Dare mo Shiranai (Nobody Knows). The Japanese drama focuses on four children left to their own devices, stuck in an apartment they can’t leave, a mother who disappears at will – and eventually for good – but ultimately they have to grow up pretty damn fast and fend for themselves in a world that is tough enough for an adult at the best of times. The child actors here are a revelation – the new head of the family played by Yūya Yagira then takes on the new-found responsibility. The remarkable Yagira was just 14 years old when he received the Best Actor prize at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival – he was also the very first Japanese actor to win this award at the festival.

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