Little Fish in Love

Director: Abai Karpikov
Screenwriters: Abai Karpikov, Boris Ryakhovsky

Institute History

  • 1990 Sundance Film Festival


Reminiscent of early Wim Wenders, Little Fish in Love is a cool, alluring Soviet road movie. In a silent prologue, a young man leaves his village and heads for the big city in search of love. Hitchhiking to Alma-Ata, he is picked up first by a wealthy government official and his stunningly beautiful wife, and then by an African musician and his sidekick. When he gets to the big city, the hitchhiker free-floats for a few days, in and out of the lives of these and several other characters whom he always meets by coincidence in strange, dislocating circumstances.

A summary of the story begins to sound like a forties film noir plot: One night the young man is reunited with the beautiful woman with whom he first got a ride. Together they go for a long walk, stopping at a photographer's studio, where she poses. Then they steal a car, run out of gas, and are caught by the police. But in director Karpikov's hands, the narrative is utterly unpredictable, quirky and consistently inventive. Despite a tiny budget, Karpikov succeeds admirably in creating a sleek, minimalist, urban atmosphere rare in Soviet film.

Tuesday, January 23, 1:15 p.m.
Holiday Village Cinema n

Sunday, January 28, 11:00 a.m.
Prospector Square Theatre


— Forrest Ciesol

Screening Details

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