The Book of Fish
Philosophically earnest and powerful, The Book of Fish hinges on the strength of its writing and themes to tell a unique story about mentorship. A Korean black-and-white period piece about the exile of Jeong Yak-jeon (Sol Kyung-gu), Joseon era scholar, during the Catholic Persecution of 1801; the film is an accessible and gorgeous tale about learning and passing down knowledge. The heart of the story is the friendship between Jeong Yak-jeon and his protege, Chang-dae (Byun Yo-han), as they both learn from each other how to grow within the new phases of their lives. The tension comes from incorporating their newfound knowledge into their lives, where divides set in. The film isn’t pretentious, as its humor and charm lift it far above more traditional period pieces. The Book of Fish is one of the most poignant films of the year.
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