The residents of Davud and Baci's village have died from a mysterious plague. The two surviving young people mourn and struggle to survive. Aided by epic imagery, shot in the oil fields and desert landscapes of the Azerbaijan plains, Hilal Baydarov generates high production value on but a minimal budget. Contemplative depth develops behind the dystopian surface, behind the trauma of the protagonists the realisation that the war they won ended in a pyrrhic victory, behind their mourning a longing for hope, for salvation. "SERMON TO THE FISH is not about a specific battle, instead it’s about the forgotten souls lost in a pain that victory cannot ease. With wars raging in Eastern Europe and other parts of the world, SERMON TO THE FISH is a much-needed philosophical narrative," says Maria A Ruggieri, Director of the international sales company Asian Shadows. In the original sermon to the fish, composed in the mid-17th century, Saint Anthony is forbidden by the heretical fathers of Rimini to preach to the people, whereupon the fish listen to him instead. In the case of director Baydarov there are hardly any people left, and the few fish that appear here are desperately looking for the strength to draw, from the film’s poetic imagery, the will to survive.
Text: Bernd Buder
English: Peter Rickerby
Stadthalle: Original version with English subtitles + German simultaneous translation.
Weltspiegel Saal 2: Original version with English subtitles