"The Family Game" Is Released

The Family Game (家族ゲーム, Kazoku Geemu?) is a Japanese movie that was directed by Yoshimitsu Morita in 1983.

The movie portrays the changing dynamics of Japanese family life around the time. It focuses on a dysfunctional middle-class nuclear family—each family member is connected not internally, but through the social roles they are expected to take on, and the pressure of these social expectations further accelerates the breakdown in their communication. The Family Game received several awards including the best movie of the year as selected by Japanese critics. Although the movie missed the Japan Academy Prize for the Best Picture (losing out to The Battle of Narayama), Ichirōta Miyagawa was awarded Newcomer of the Year.

Co-produced by the Art Theatre of Japan, The Family Game explores the coming-of-age (so to speak) of a traditional Japanese family. Ichirota Miyagawa is the youngest member of a clan that dwells in a house so small you virtually have to go outside to change your mind. Miyagawa gets his first taste of the world outside his own four walls when he is tutored by instructor Yusaku Matsuda. Though Matsuda's technique is somewhat blunt (he's not averse to knocking his pupil around to get his attention), the tutor encourages Miyagawa to stand on his own two feet and break away from the family unit. Matsuda practices what he preaches at the climax by lashing out at the family's cloistered provincialism. The Family Game is based on a novel by Yohei Honma. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide