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K-film at the BFI London Film Fest: A Fish — mysterious, tantalising and rewarding

A Fish - poster

What a stunning first film. Park Hong-min is still a graduate student at Dongguk University, but this debut is amazingly confident. A truly mysterious creation which has you wondering throughout what is going on, and when it finishes you want to watch it again immediately to see if it makes more sense the second time round. The 3D visuals add to the feeling that this film is really different: as the two strange fisherman have their metaphyscial conversations in their raft, their fishing rods almost poke you in the eye as they reach out of the screen toward you.

Two mysterious fishermen
Who on earth ARE these mysterious fishermen? And what are they talking about?

In his introduction to the film on the BFI website Tony Rayns is right to reference the atmosphere of Twin Peaks. The mysterious world of shamanism and the weird behaviour of the private eye add to the aura of nervous uncertainty as a university lecturer heads off to Jindo in search of his wife who has just been initiated as a shaman. One of the English-language taglines sums up the mystery well: You sure you’re trying to find her? Don’t you ever think that she’s the one who’s looking for you?

This is definitely one to try to see on the big screen. And try to make sense of it, if you can.

A water-borne shamanistic exorcism
A water-borne shamanistic exorcism

Park Hong-min (박홍민) A Fish (물고기, 2011) score-2score-2score-2score-2score-1

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