A Fish Tale

Emmanuelle Mayer | IL 2019 | 52 min

Emerging from a long-standing friendship between the director and the protagonist, A Fish Tale is the story of a visionary who “swims against the tide,” but also the story of a couple whose visions of the future and feelings of belonging ultimately drift apart.

With the ambition of earning enough money and acquiring enough knowledge to build up a professional fish farm back in Ghana, Johnny and Thérèse migrate to Israel in 2000. Their few-month-old twins remain with the family in Ghana. Twelve years later – Johnny has made his way with cleaning jobs and is apprenticing in a fish farm – they have another son, Innocent, and Thérèse is pregnant again. When their visas threaten to expire, Thérèse, worried about her children’s future, makes a landmark decision…. 

Director’s statement

„It’s not a very common story because if we look around us, if it’s in Israel, if it’s in Europe, how many African immigrants, refugees or asylum seekers […] want to go back to Africa? […] Making your plans on starting your life back in Africa? Not many, not many. Johnny […] is like a fish swimming against the stream, he believes in the future of Africa.(Emmanuelle Mayer)

Emmanuelle Mayer

*1980 Paris. BFA in photography at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design Jerusalem, MFA in film directing at Tel Aviv University. After working on numerous films and series, A Fish Tale is her first documentary film of her own.