A short romance drama about prescription drugs and the internet
I read a lot about the Japanese phenomenon of hikikomori - young men who live online, typically via video games, whilst in the physical world rarely leaving their bedroom. Absent from the social world and the economy, they are typically dependent on their parents (whom they usually live with) providing for them, far beyond a socially acceptable age. Typically, parents do this because of shame, covering up for a son who has failed against social expectation. The commonly cited cause of the phenomenon amongst young men is an inability to live up to pressure to visibly succeed against rigid benchmarks in academia, the job market and romance. The world of video games provides a substitute, with none of the risks but the constant provision of small challenges and successes.
I made the film in the aftermath of the dotcom bubble, but before most people had heard of the companies that now dominate our digital lives - Facebook, Amazon, Google. I wondered what would happen if this phenomenon spread outside of Japan, and also how it would be affected by new technologies - communication via social media, the ability to earn money online, and order virtually anything, delivered to one’s door.
Funded and supported by: City of Westminster Arts Council and Film London