'Swim Little Fish Swim'
SXSW Film Reviews
Swim Little Fish SwimNarrative Feature Competition, World Premiere
D: Ruben Amar, Lola Bessis; with Dustin Guy Defa, Lola Bessis, Brooke Bloom, Olivia Durling Costello
Swim Little Fish Swim requires patience for creative free spirits; crankier sorts might want to smash main character Leeward's (Defa) twee ukulele to bits. That may not be the intention of Swim Little Fish Swim, the feature film debut of writer/director team Ruben Amar and Lola Bessis – one senses the filmmakers are quite enamored with the boho unbendingness of Leeward, an unemployed musician and loving if slack husband/father, and the hither-and-thither mysterioso of Lilas (played by Bessis), an experimental filmmaker with visa troubles – but the point is made nonetheless, and quite movingly, in the form of Leeward's hardworking nurse-wife Mary (Bloom): that the sacrifices and burdens of the artist are most keenly felt by that artist's family. Not at all the easy lark intimated in opening scenes, Swim Little Fish Swim unfurls into a sensitive and alert exploration of complicated relationship dynamics. It's unclear, though, if the filmmakers understand Mary is the real hero here.
Wednesday, March 13, 9pm, Alamo Ritz