Deep Sea (2023) Berlinale 2023

February 21st, 2023
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: TIAN Xiaopeng | China I 2023 I 112 min I Animation I

An absolutely ravishing Chinese anime that needs to be seen on the big screen is this enchanting story of Shenxiu, a little girl abandoned by her mother, and still suffering from bad dreams about a monster called Nightmare. On a cruise with the rest of her family she actually sees him on the deck humming her mother’s favourite tune and beckoning her on a mysterious and healing undersea odyssey where Shenxiu will encounter some weird and wonderful characters amongst them a mystical shape-shifting creature that resembles a squid called a¬†Hyjinkx.

Shenxiu joins forces with a strange character called Nanhe as they plummet the depths of the ocean in search of her long lost mother, a quest that will bring both wonder and heartache and a shocking twist in the final resolve. Like all good animations, Deep Sea works on two levels: to offer a spectacular visual treat for younger viewers and a deeper more meaningful experience for mature audiences. Some of the content may be disturbing for more suggestible children under 14.

Playing in the Generation strand at this year’s Berlinale the film explores children’s intense and often dreamlike emotional life showing how they find solace by escaping into their imagination in order to process trauma. MT



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