A Fish Tale

A hard watch. Because this isn’t about things coming together, it is about them falling apart.

A Fish Tale follows Johnny, a Ghanaian fisherman who came to Israel to learn modern fishing techniques. Over the course of 10 years, he tries with everything he has to accomplish this single task, so that he may bring the knowledge back home to Ghana and make a success of the family fishery business. But being poor means every single part of every step is difficult, even impossible.

He finds Raana and Yoav who allow him to learn at their fishery for free, teaching him the techniques he will need to increase his yield. And it seems at first like a godsend, a free education with hands-on experience. But he still needs to earn money, which means working every hour he can at his cleaning job, and having only study time on the side.

On top of this, he has a young son, and before much longer twin girls arrive. Johnny and his wife Therese moved to Israel 12 years ago, leaving behind a young son and daughter, thinking it would be temporary and that they would return with what they needed soon. Now they have more children born outside Ghana than there, and Therese’s sense of responsibility shifts.

The film begins with Johnny receiving the news his father has died, and he is now head of the household. The responsibility weighs heavily on him from the outset. His duty to bring home the means of prosperity is for his family as a whole. However Therese starts to question what life she will be taking her children back to. Fewer opportunities, no internet, inadequate infrastructure, she doesn’t want to deprive them of things they have grown up their whole life knowing.

As racist, far-right marches are on the move, and protests are held condemning Christian Africans for ‘taking up a place’ that could be used for a Jew in Israel, Johnny decides to send Therese and the kids home, before harm can come to them. But Therese must make a choice about what the future holds for their family.

A hard watch about the raw unfairness of the world.

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