Dreams for Sale
aka 夢売るふたり aka Yume Uru Futari
Written and directed by Miwa Nishikawa
In the blink of an eye, flames reduce a couple’s restaurant to ash, and with it their future. Struggling with depression, dejection and suffering at lower jobs at subpar restaurants, a drunken affair sparks a scheme that sees them become grifters to earn the money needed to buy a nice restaurant. Nothing is that simple, and their fall from grace exposes their dark sides. Dreams for Sale is a tale of struggling to survive and doing bad while excusing it as a greater good.
Director and writer Miwa Nishikawa doesn’t just tell a normal con artist tale, the story of Kanya and Satoko Ichizawa (Sadao Abe and Takako Matsu) is only one side of the coin. The focus in Dreams for Sale is not only on the couple, but on the female victims as well. The movie is their tales just as much as the two leads.
Nishikawa wanted to write a film that dealt with issues of women, their life choices and their feelings of anxiety over whether they made the right decisions with their lives. With the various women who are targets, Nishikawa explores the social consequences of their lives, from discarded mistresses to empty beds to vengeful exes to single mothers struggling to hold things together to driven athletes on the cusp of giving up. This focus is defined in the opening and closing montages that are tiny scenes into the lives of women (some random, some central to the storyline).