Nobody Knows1

I watched Hirokazu Kore-eda's Nobody Knows (誰も知らない) with Lisa, and I had to choke back tears several times. To put it bluntly, it was a total disaster and a systemic tragedy.

Artificial structures have redundancies, so even if one or two parts fail, it usually doesn't disrupt what the whole structure is trying to accomplish. Therefore, if a structure malfunctions significantly, it can be said that there are already many layers of failure. Watching the first half of the film, I thought that the tragedy that befell this family had to be the result of more than just one or two things going wrong, it had to be the cumulative effect of many things going wrong on a larger level — hence the total disaster. But by the end of the film, this idea was turned inside out. The tragic loss of life in one or two of these families does not interfere with the benefit (functioning) of the social system for most of us, and therefore Nobody Knows about their deaths — that is, they are systemic tragedies, and they function as redundancies in the system for the rest of us to enjoy our lives…

  1. I originally posted this in Korean on my Facebook, but now I don't use Facebook anymore, so I'm posting it here. ↩︎