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The Fish Tale

Sakana no Ko
dir. Shuichi Okita
Japan 2022, 139’
subtitles: Polish and English

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European premiere
Theatrical Screenings
Th 17 Nov, 20:30
Kinoteka 1
Kinoteka 1
Su 20 Nov, 15:00
Awards and festivals
World premiere: Fantasia FF 2022
Japan 2022
Duration: 139’
director: Shuichi Okita
screenplay: Shuichi Okita, Shiro Maeda
cinematography: Yasuyuki Sasaki
editing: Azusa Yamazaki
music: Pascals
cast: Non, Yuya Yagira, Kaho, Hayato Isamura, Sakana-kun
producer: Toshikazu Nishigaya, Yuki Nishimiya, Asako Nishikawa, Chihiro Hino
production: Django-Film
language: Japanese
colouration: colour

Film description

Meebo’s life revolves around fish. She’s been learning everything she can about the underwater world ever since she was a child; she’s a veritable “fish-holic” who knows everything there is to know about fish – from species characteristics to variations in taste. She fears neither squid, nor octopus. People around her are a little skeptical about her fascination with the world of fish, and Meebo clearly stands out among her peers. But that is part of her charm – she is undoubtedly endearing. Apart from her fascination with the animal world, Meebo has an incredibly life-affirming spirit and is ready to share her optimism. The Fish Tale is actually a cinematic twist on the life of one of the more surprising online celebrities in Japan – Sakana-kun, an ichthyologist known for his lectures, which he delivers wearing a fish-hat.

The movie is the latest soothing biography directed by Shuichi Okita, a tale of a soft-spoken nerd told in a colorful and nostalgic manner. The director expertly weaves together elements of school drama, scenes from the yakuza underworld, an environmental message, and magical realism. The film re-imagines Sakana-kun as a woman, played by Non – one of the most interesting young actresses and directors, known for her off-beat roles. Her turn as the neurotic Sakana-kun brings to mind one of Okita’s earlier movies, A Story of Yonosuke, which revolved around a protagonist as naive and guileless as the unconventional fish expert. Their presence changes everyone around them. This is the greatest strength of this free-spirited character, forever different and proud of it.

Łukasz Mańkowski

Shuichi Okita

Born in 1977 in Saitama. Award-winning director known for his unique humor and oddball biographies of odd characters. Author of over a dozen feature films. His career breakthrough came with A Story of Yonosuke. The Japan Feel-Good section includes three of his movies, acclaimed on the international festival circuit and showcasing his idiosyncratic style as one of the most empathetic observers of today’s Japan.


2009 Nankyoku ryōrinin / The Chef of South Polar 

2012 Kitsutsuki to ame / The Woodsman and the Rain 

2013 Opowieść o Yonosuke / Yokomichi Yonosuke / A Story of Yonosuke 

2014 Taki wo mini iku / Ecotherapy Getaway Holiday

2016 Mohikan kokyōni kaeru / The Mohican Comes Home 

2018 Mori, siedlisko artysty / Mori no iru basho / Mori, the Artist's Habitat 

2020 Ora, Ora Be Goin' Alone 

2021 Letnia opowieść / Kodomo wa wakatte agenai / One Summer Story 

2022 Rybie dziecko / Sakana no ko / The Fish Tale

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