Billy Donoso 'Shoplifters' is deceptive in an absolutely necessary way. My, and a lot of people's, natural inclination is to trust the media that report the news for us. It is only when I have reason to doubt the given narrative that I do, but for the most part, I don't have the time to investigate each individual report that comes across Channel 5 each night. But obviously, Kore-eda's media hardly reports the truth, but a publicly digestible yet horribly perverted version of it. The family is nothing but loving and caring for each other. Their flaws within the family structure are human and real: desiring a certain kind of father-son relationship; wishing to go back to a time when you were the only child to love; losing the grandma who gives the best advice on staying a dignified young woman when men ogle those who work in her profession; learning to trust when life has taught you by the mere age of 5 that you cannot trust. These are real and absolutely raw portraits of humanity, yet they are inevitably morphed into mug shots by the media. 'Local girl returned from kidnapping murderers to her biological parents' has a certain retributive appeal to it, doesn't it? Our adult characters are morally dubious, sure, but so are the adults in more sanitized positions in society. There is the shopkeeper, who pities Shota and Yuri and merely asks Shota to not make Yuri do the shoplifting herself, and there is Nobuyo's coworker, who sees Yuri with them and blackmails her with leaking that she is a kidnapper. Their intentions are good and bad respectively, with dubious consequences. Nobuyo and Osamu had intentions and consequences of their intentions that fluctuated between good, bad, and dubious, but in the present, what we see of them is a good intention with a positive impact on Yuri. If that isn't a redemption story in the fullest sense of the phrase, then I don't know what is. But such real, tangible redemption stories aren't always perceived and represented as such. We have to ask ourselves: with our good intentions, do we, as individuals and participants in larger systems, always create the best outcome?