What Truly Is ‘A Family’?

What if all left for worldly refuge is a ‘surrogate’ family? What is a real family? What if one never felt the love of a real blood family, while experiencing real care by gangsters? What if the honour among thieves is honourable ‘enough’ to maintain loyalty to them? What if the larger ‘family’ of society guarded by crooked law-enforcers is less loyal to honour? Are corrupted cops not worse than criminals?

Rare is it that there is a yakuza story in film, that does not overly glamourise or villainise the lives of those in and out of organised crime. Then again, this is more of a depiction of post-yakuza life. Freshly out of jail, with ostracisation due to demonisation by society and unforgiving regulatory laws, that make it hard for the repentant to reform, there is sympathy for the ‘devil’ evoked.

Perhaps, if all have loving families in the first place, no one will turn to the criminal life. Perhaps, what first ‘criminal’ is to not care for one’s family members enough – be it a child bullied at school or a parent pressurised at work. Back to the ‘care’ of the gangsters, it is perhaps not real care after all, if there are expectations of joining them. Romanticism aside, how genuinely fatherly can most ungodly ‘godfathers’ be?

While it is usually wrong to do what the average person would deem to be unforgivable, it is correspondingly wrong to be unforgiving. Is this not what leads ex-criminals back to crime? The ‘sins’ of a few thus become the ‘sins’ of the masses. Is punishment by law not already completed when out of jail? Karma aside, why must an invisible ‘sentence’ be extended indefinitely beyond prison walls?

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