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Symbol (2009)

Shinboru (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Fantasy, Mystery | 12 September 2009 (Japan)
A man wakes up in a white room empty other than buttons on the walls, he must find out which button to push to get what he wants.


Hitoshi Matsumoto


Hitoshi Matsumoto (screenplay), Mitsuyoshi Takasu (screenplay)
5 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Hitoshi Matsumoto Hitoshi Matsumoto ... The Man
David Quintero David Quintero ... Escargot Man, Antonio's Father
Luis Accinelli Luis Accinelli ... Antonio's Uncle
Lilian Tapia ... Antonio's Mother (as Lillian Tapia)
Adriana Fricke ... Karen
Carlos C. Torres ... Antonio
Ivana Wong Ivana Wong ... Antonio's Sister
Arkangel De La Muerte Arkangel De La Muerte ... Aguila De Plata
Matcho Panpu Matcho Panpu ... Tequila Joe (as Misuteru Kakao)
Dick Togo ... El Super Demonio (as Dick Tôgô)
Salam Diagne Salam Diagne ... African Tribesman
Stuart-O. Stuart-O.
Chris Gurundy Chris Gurundy
Nik Sliwerski Nik Sliwerski
Jonathan Hicks Jonathan Hicks


A man wakes up alone in a brightly illuminated white room with no windows or doors. When he presses a mysteriously phallic protuberance that appears on one wall, a pink toothbrush materializes from nowhere, clattering to the floor and setting in motion a genuinely bizarre chain of events. Soon the imprisoned man is engaged in absurd and hilarious attempts to escape the gleaming room, releasing random objects from the walls, creating a life sized mouse trap game in which a rope, a toilet plunger and an earthenware jug full of sushi might just be the keys to his escape. Meanwhile, in a dusty town, a green masked Mexican wrestler known as Escargot Man prepares for an important match. His family gathers around him, worried about his seeming impassivity before battle. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]




Russian | Japanese | Spanish | English

Release Date:

12 September 2009 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Symbol See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


References Nip/Tuck (2003) See more »


Music by Hidekazu Sakamoto
Lyrics by Kensuke Shiga
See more »

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User Reviews

It doesn't get much weirder than this...
6 May 2010 | by KnatLouieSee all my reviews

I was fortunate enough to catch this movie at a screening during the Copenhagen film-festival last month, and when I went to see it, I didn't really know what to expect, so imagine my surprise and joy, when I found out that the plot went something like this...

First, we begin with a scene in Mexico, where we see a small family eating breakfast.. nothing extraordinary in that, except that the father is wearing a full-face wrestling-mask, like the famous Mexican wrestler Santos (or for the mainstream-audience, like The Gimp from "Pulp Fiction"), and is suddenly picked up by a foul-mouthed woman dressed as a nun, who drives him to town, where the night's big fight is going to take place.

Then, cut to a Japanese man, waking up in a completely empty white room, not knowing how or why he got there, he screams to get some help and attention. But all he sees is something that looks like a button in the wall.. when he presses it, hundreds of naked angel-boys appear before him, only to disappear back into the wall..except their penises! He then proceeds to press the penises, and finds out that something mysterious happens every time he does so! Holes open in the walls, and random things are thrown into the room, be it furniture, gadgets, food, or even living things! All that happens inside the room is apparently a personal voyage for the man, but it also effects other people's lives at the same time, most notably the Mexican wrestler and his family, which we discover near the end of the film. But it really is something that should be watched to be completely understood - and even then, it's not even certain that you'll be able to understand what happened - or why.

Highly recommended film. Very unique and entertaining throughout, even though the last fifteen minutes get really bizarre and too artsy for my taste. This movie is not to be missed. You will probably never see anything quite as weird and funny like this. 8/10

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