Program Detail

Fable of the Fish

Adolfo Borinaga Alix, Jr. / Philippines / 2011 / 85 min / Tagalog with English subtitles / USA Premiere


“Lina gave birth to a fish; what can you do?” Such are the extraordinary circumstances of Lina (Cherry Pie Picache) and Miguel (Bembol Roco) in Adolfo Borinaga Alix Jr.’s tranquil, surreal Fable of the Fish. Incredible as it may sound, giving birth to a fish and raising it as one’s child is not that astonishing to Lina and Miguel, nor to the people around her—no more astonishing than life in an urban squatter’s village, where multiple marginalizing factors keep families from living “ordinary” lives.

Fable of the Fish opens with Lina and Miguel, an out-of-place, middle-aged couple who have recently relocated from the provinces to an urban slum village. Despite inquiries and unsolicited advice from their new neighbors, the couple seems at peace with their quiet, childless existence. But Lina’s surprise pregnancy brings an unexpected hopefulness in her, and Miguel slowly warms to the impending change in their lives. One day, in the middle of heavy rains that flood both the city and their modest home, Lina finally gives birth: to a fish.

Economical in movement and scope, the film is meticulously acted by Picache and Roco, and directed with extreme tenderness by Alix Jr. (Adela). While at times satirical, the film does not romanticize or make overly surreal the situation; the question is not why Lina gave birth to a fish, but how one copes with the absurdity of everyday life. Under Alix Jr.’s careful hand, the film deftly weaves urban mythology with religious and political allegory, and maintains a balance firmly planted between fantasy and reality.

-Miel Alegre

Co-presenter: Kularts (3/9, 3/14)


  • Director: Adolfo Borinaga Alix, Jr.
  • Executive Producer: Adolfo Borinaga Alix, Jr.
  • Producer: Jonas Antonio Gaffud, Elizabeth Juan
  • Cinematographer: Albert Banzon
  • Writer: Jerry B. Gracio
  • Editor: Benjamin Gonzalez Tolentino
  • Cast: Bembol Roco, Cherry Pie Picache, Anita Linda, Rosanna Roces


March 9, 2012 7:00 pm
Pacific Film Archive Theater
Tickets not currently on sale

March 14, 2012 9:00 pm
Sundance Kabuki Cinemas
Tickets not currently on sale


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