A poignant coming-of-age tale awash in lush naturalism, The Goldfish: Dreaming of the Sea follows Hana (Miyu Ogawa, Special Actors, JC 2020)—an 18-year-old raised in a group home since her mother’s imprisonment 10 years prior—as she watches over the home’s newest arrival, Harumi (Runa Hanada), a young, withdrawn girl who can’t get along with the rest of the group. As the pair become closer and Harumi starts to open up, Hana discovers Harumi’s history with physical abuse and recalls her own memories of trauma when she learns of her mother’s appeal for retrial. An exceptionally impressive debut theatrical feature by 25-year-old actress Sara Ogawa, The Goldfish introduces a brand new directorial talent resembling Hirokazu Kore-eda (whose longtime director of photography Yutaka Yamazaki is shared by Ogawa) in her insightful observation, lyrical touch and eye for composition.
International Competition, Jeonju International Film Festival 2021
Official Competition Selection, Udine Far East Film Festival 2021
“Made with talent, vision and lyricism” —The Japan Times