Isn't Anyone Alive?

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Isn't Anyone Alive?
Directed by Gakuryū Ishii
Written by Shiro Maeda
Based on Ikiteiru mono wa inai no ka (play)
by Shiro Maeda
Starring Shota Sometani
Rin Takanashi
Mai Takahashi
Jun Murakami
Cinematography Yoshiyuki Matsumoto
Edited by Gakuryū Ishii
Toshihiko Takeda
Dragon Mountain
Distributed by Phantom Films
Release date
  • February 18, 2012 (2012-02-18)
Running time
113 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese

Isn't Anyone Alive?, in Japanese Ikiteiru mono wa inai no ka (生けているものはいないのか) is a 2012 Japanese film directed by Gakuryū Ishii (credited in his previous films as Sōgo Ishii). It features an ensemble cast including Shota Sometani and is based on the play of the same name by Shiro Maeda. Playwright Shoji Kokami has referred to the story as an outstanding example of the study of dying in the Theatre of the Absurd.[1] It was released in Japan on February 18, 2012 and was featured at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in June 2012.[2]


The film follows 18 individuals in separate but sometimes related groups on the campus of a Japanese university hospital. These groups include a mother and father of an unborn child; a group of friends during a dance rehearsal; staff at the university hospital and a team of students researching urban legends. Ostensibly, the plot is concerned with a mysterious outbreak resembling a viral pandemic which causes the film's protagonists to suddenly die one-by-one. It is suggested during the film that this is due to secret experiments being conducted by the United States Armed Forces in the hospital. However, rather than attempting to resolve the mystery of the outbreak, the focus of the film is largely devoted to the relationships between the characters and their reactions to their own and each other's impending deaths. Ishii has stated the film is made to show the absurdity of the characters not knowing when or why their deaths will occur and highlights the importance of drama and dialogue within the film, in contrast to his previous works.[3]



In a review for the website, Jay Seaver gives the film 3 stars out of 5, highlighting the strong performance of the cast but noting that ultimately the conceptual tone is difficult to sustain for the duration of the film.[4]


  1. ^ "第52回岸田國士戯曲賞選評(2008年)". 白水社. Retrieved December 30, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Isn't Anyone Alive? - 2012 Edinburgh International Film Festival". Edinburgh International Film Festival. Retrieved December 29, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Isn't Anyone Alive? - Director's interview". Dragon Mountain LLC. Retrieved December 30, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Isn't Anyone Alive? -". eFilmCritic. Retrieved December 30, 2013. 

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