ALONG THE SEA follows three Vietnamese women in their early 20s, Phuong, An, and Nhu. They moved to Japan to work as technical trainees. When they decide to escape their workplace, where their passports have been confiscated, they become illegal migrants in the country. A broker, based in a quiet fishermen village, helps them to find a shelter and a new job in a small fish factory. With their doubled salary, also comes a fisherman’s ice-covered hut where they live together.
Yet, as they begin their new life, Phuong starts to become sick and suffers severe stomach pains. When An and Nhu take her to a hospital, unable to show any ID card, they are refused admission. Phuong must now figure out how to get fake documents in order to save herself. An unflinching portrait of the life of migrant workers in Japan, ALONG THE SEA is a breakout success from newcomer Akio Fujimoto.
HIFF is proud to nominate this film for this year’s Kau Ka Hōkū Award.