Discovery

A Fish Out Of Water

Lai Kuo-An

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In music video and commercial director Lai Kuo-An’s feature debut, a young boy becomes obsessed with finding his "past parents" who fished in a small village by the sea.

Something new, something mysterious, something touching, and something Edward Yang can be found in this accomplished first feature film by music-video and commercial director Lai Kuo-An. In his extensive career he has collaborated with some of the best Taiwanese filmmakers, such as Chen Kuo-fu and Hou Hsiao-hsien, and internalized the inebriating atmosphere of one of the world's most vibrant cinematic cultures.

An obsessive lingering memory torments little Yi-An's mind and prevents him from having a normal life, at home or at school. He wants his parents and schoolteachers to help him find his "past parents," who fished in a small village by the sea. His mother from the past had long hair and was nice to him, and he had a sister. Are these memories from a previous life? A sign he is possessed by someone else's soul? A psychosis? Is he a little alien? At times he certainly appears alien to his distressed parents, who are going through their own difficulties. Grandpa has fallen ill and needs constant care, which adds to the tensions in the marriage and ultimately forces the mother to take Yi-An and go live with her sister.

A unique film on family and the meaning and value of memories, A Fish Out of Water takes the viewer to a special place on the border of the familiar and the supernatural, and describes with grace and insight the inner workings of its protagonists, framed within an accurate portrayal of family dynamics.

GIOVANNA FULVI

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