The Price of Survival in Sabaibaru Famiri
This essay will be doing an analytical exploration of the civil concern confronted by the Japanese kazoku in the masterpiece film called “Sabaibaru famirî” made by Shinobu Yaguchi in 2016 which resolves around an unforeseen global electricity cessation that forces a Tokyo living kazoku in the anarchy as millions other hunt for places in the country in pursuit of electricity and survival when lack of power continues and all source of energy speculate no proof of recurrence. Which results the kazoku that includes the father, mother, son and daughter to bond and learn to accept and survive this new reality that they never expected.
Before an analytical exploration on the civil concern that the kazoku are confronted by, a character study before the power-cut needs to be explored. Firstly the overall kazoku this film focuses on is a slightly alienated family toward each other. Which dwell of a work engaged father who has a middle-class job, an uncherished wife who is as mother and a housewife, an emotional daughter who wants to fit and be a popular face and an segregated son who like any other teenager his age is in love with popular girl in his school while being a high school geek with no popularity. The first thirty minutes of the movie are used to describe their life and their dependence on technology and electricity that people with their characteristics do, allowing the audience of the film to dwell into one of the characters in the movie and relate to them which is an interesting way for the audience to see them self as one of the characters and as it’s a modern movie, it is able to relate to international audience as well for most parts of it. Their everyday routine are shown as best as they can so the audience is able to compare and have an understanding of the three stages of this movie before, during and after. For example, people start using bicycles as their way of transport leaving vehicles and train, cashier at the supermarket start using the traditional way of calculation which is abacus to manage the transactions and people not be able to use cashless methods to pay or being able to withdraw money through their cards. The movie goal was to display a realistic portrayal of challenges that a society and a kazoku would face during such incident and it is able to beautifully display it in a albeit-japanese-style with subtle messages about the importance of environment and change and the impacts to society both physically and psychologically.
The social issue of Food and Water security is explored in a beautiful manner in this movie by the japanese kazoku. At first, the family doesn’t value food and water and take them as granted as being really picky about what they want to eat and would throw away the food if they don’t feel like consuming it and when the world starts to change because of the power-cut. The city becomes unsustainable as both freshwater and food supply are limited which leads to many of the kazoku to leave the city and go find shelter in a more rural place that is able to provide food and as the kazoku that the movie focuses on have a relative in kagoshima who is a farmer, they pursue their path to his doors. When the family is starting to run of Water during their journey to kagoshima, the father resolves on consuming sea water as replacement to the bottled water they had which his family denies to do. And result of it was the father becomes sick and results in having diarrhea because of his weak stomach immunity to consuming unhygienic water because of the reason that they used to live in a city which had all of the water and food supply well sanitized. After a month passes by, food becomes very limited to them and a family who would throw food becomes so desperate that they would eat dog food or kill a pig for their survival and hunger and even emptying the aquarium which was once used for entertainment. This beautifully display the nature of humans , when we have everything, we don’t appreciate what we have and forget about the importance of it and when the time comes you would do anything to deal with hunger and survival as only in a month this Japanese kazoku adapts to the new world so much. This shows if they had not found a place to settle, they would’ve became barbarians who would even go to extends like cannibalism to survive and secure their hunger. This explored the social issue of food and security because it showed how food and water are an aspiration to everything and how their absence would give such a big impact to human dignity.
Social issue of economic opportunity and unemployment is displayed as after the power shutdown that is a civil concern as people lose their way of surviving and being able to afford the luxury they once had. Most of the jobs in the city are forfeited as they very reliant on technology and electricity. One of the few job that takes time to be lost is the supermarket as they still have the supply but once that runs out, the marketplaces are also abandoned. And as before electricity existed, the only jobs the people had were primary jobs like farmer and fisherman which the city lacks the opportunity of having which results in people in the city to abandon the city and go back to the old ways of living and the natural job opportunities this world had. One of the most astonishing one this film show is a group of blind ladies using their skills of living in the darkness to help commuters to cross dark places like the tunnel in exchange of resources or supplies they need which was beautifully displayed in a realistic manner in the movie in a black comedy manner.
Safety and wellbeing was explored in this new world which becomes a strong civil concern after more than a month passes by in this new world they were living in. But disappointedly, it was not able to explore this social issue in all ways. Maybe because of it being a family and kids movie. In the almost end of the movie , they start showing how animals are starting to become more aggressive against humans because of their hunger and would harm humans if needed to survive which display survival of the fittest and showed how some people would result in thievery as a random stranger tries to steal the husband’s cycle and later on when they are sleeping someone steals their food supply they had in a great way but the film was not able to display other aspects of safety such as sexual and serious crime which the law and order helps us to sustain in the real world. The expectation of seeing violence and human nature toward freedom of crime was undermined.
Inequality issue was displayed in a black comedy way regarding the civil concern confronted by the Japanese kazoku. The pyramid of who is superior was tremendously changed. As shown in the film, a person who was rich enough to afford a Rolex watch and a Maserati car was treated like a beggar while the kazoku this film focuses on with supply of water and alcohol were treated way better than the guy with Rolex and a Maserati. This showed how people’s mindset changed about what’s important and who should be respected and treated in a superior way.
This film if analyzed in a very critical way displayed to the audience of social issues that may arise and be more concerned during a time when people don’t have electricity supply and energy a way of method of living. From my opinion, social concerns like the water and food and safety were not mostly regarded before the incident but however after the incident. There ways of concern changed, they no longer cared about social issues like gay marriage, death penalty, euthanasia, fitting in the social circle, getting popular and religious issues. But all the people in the society cared about their living conditions and way they could survive in this outbreak. This film used it great setting and cultural background of a survival Japanese kazoku in a unique way while having the theme and archetypes of the movie very universal and the need of technology slowly fades away in the minds of the people after a long time passes of the outbreak. For example the son’s no longer addiction to his phone, his daughter being happy with who she is and them treasuring their life more naturally and being more independent and not reliant to technology itself after all the changes and character growth they get through external hardship and interpersonal conflict because of the incident.
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