Set in the wide, expansive, icy landscapes of Hokkaido, Yumeno is the story of three young people, all with their own problems, who find their fates inextricably linked. Hotheaded Yoshiki finds himself on the run after unwittingly roughing up a girl with yakuza connections. When the mobsters ask him to come up with a million yen in compensation, he flees town. He winds up at the home of Yumeno, a girl whose relationship with her parents borders on antagonism, as she asserts her individuality by wearing bright blue contact lenses and conducting an affair with a married man. Her association with Yoshiki has tragic implications. Meanwhile, when the alcoholic father of Ryo, an boy living in the snowy wilderness of Hokkaido, is discovered frozen outdoors one evening by the police, events soon bring the abandoned youngster into the sphere of the other two.
Yumeno marks the arrival of another significant filmmaking talent from the field of the erotic pink film, that of Yoshitaka Kamada, the director of such works as Sara and No Woman No Cry (both 1998). Returning to the majestic landscape in which he grew up, his dramatic fiction feature debut benefits from the beautiful cinematography of Nabeshima, the intricate plotting of Izuchi’s screenplay and touching performances from all of the young cast members. JS