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BOY

Japan, 1969 (MIFF 1970, Programme 7)

Director: Nagisa Oshima

An itinerant family of four makes a living by faking road accidents as pedestrians, with the drivers of expensive cars as victims. The game is to claim indemnity from the driver in the hope that he will pay up rather than become embroiled with the police. The father was wounded in the war and hasn't worked since; the stepmother, though genuinely fond of the ten-year-old boy, thinks he must do his share of bread-winning. The story is told from the boy‘s point of view: he loves the parents who force him to do work which terrifies him, and he learns how to pick the expensive cars and how to groan convincingly from just the right level of minor injury. Their travels take them all over Japan, but there is also a police net gradually closing... The film is based on an actual newspaper headline.

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