Feature Story > Reel Affirmations

FISH & ELEPHANT

Friday, Oct. 25, 7 p.m.
JCC Theatre, $9

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In the opening scene of Fish & Elephant, Xiao Qun explains to her boyfriend that she isn't interested in men -- she is a lesbian -- setting the scene for the rest of the film, which unfolds, surrounded by irony and symbolism, as Qun tries to escape her conservative culture and her mother's desire for her to get married. Qun falls for Xiao Ling, who owns a women's clothing store, and the two move in together. Not long after, Qun's mother moves in, setting up the drama to come.

The first lesbian-themed film to emerge from China, Fish & Elephant explores sexuality and life in a refreshing way, and director Li Yu doesn't leave much to the imagination in the offering. Strong characters and plot development make this dyke drama hard to resist. Yu employs a non-professional cast, including a lesbian couple she met in a club, to play the main characters, a wise move that adds to the film's sense of realism.

Rapidly delivered dialogue contradicts the slow pace at times, but those not insignificant problems are overcome as the viewer becomes immersed in the lives of the characters. -- KF


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