© Constantin Film Verleih GmbH

Der Fischer und seine Frau
Germany 2005

Opening 27 Oct 2005

Directed by: Doris Dörrie
Writing credits: Doris Dörrie, Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm
Principal actors: Eva Christian, Valentin Platareanu, Ulrike Kriener, Elmar Wepper, Carola Regnier

This is based on a German fairy tale which is well known in Germany but never made it to the Disney studios. This may be because it makes the assumption that women are universally discontent with their husbands and their marriages. This contentious theme is tackled by a well-known and much admired German director, Doris Dörrie, who has made a visually beautiful film and transferred the setting in part to modern Japan. A quarrelling couple are turned into fish and condemned to the sea until another married couple find them. The fish are koi, and the word koi also means “love” in Japanese. The married couple, played by Alexandra Maria Lara and Christian Ulmen, meet and marry in Japan but are soon home in a colourless German suburb, where the ambitious Ida starts to nag her man and the first flush of love is quickly over. Do the koi become human again or do they continue their fishy fighting in the sea? It all depends on Ida and Otto. The movie is a light-hearted and humorous one despite the theme, and it ends on a happy and hopeful note. (Jenny Mather)

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