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Few pieces of art are capable of shaking your beliefs, shoplifters is certainly one of them. It made me wonder about what Family really means. Is it the one which we are born into? Or is it the one which accepts us, loves us, and most importantly protects us from the emotional or physical abuse. And do we always find that protection in the family we are born into. Few of us are lucky to, but many may not be.

The story is about a family that's chosen by each other, which lives together because they would rather be with each other than with the family they were happened to be born into. A grandmother, who lives on her dead husband's pension, a couple (Osamu and Nobuyo) who are absconding on charges of a murder, a boy (shota) who was found by the couple abandoned inside a car and a little girl (Yuri) who was brought home to protect her from negligence and abuse by her biological family.

They all live together in a house owned by the grandmother while her solace lies in the fact that she won't die alone. Her warmth makes one's heart melt on various occasions. Osamu, shares a great relationship with Shota. He tries to be a father figure to him but being a daily wager and an illiterate himself, has very little that he can teach Shota. He teaches him shoplifting and now Shota begins to teach the same art to Yuri. But Shota has his moments of guilt and contemplation. And he purposely gets caught in the act of shoplifting, which eventually leads to revelation of their secret lives.

Moments between Nobuyo and the little girl Yuri are equally heart warming. From feeding her, her favourite food to buying her new clothes and hugging her with heartfelt affection... she does it all, as any mother would. And yet, when they are caught Nobuyo is judged for not being a biological mother to yuri.

The movie shakes some of our popular beliefs. Kindness knows no blood ties. Our own can abandon us, abuse us, while strangers could be the one to caress our wounds and protect us.

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