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August 8–14, 2014

Chicago Premiere

The Summer of Flying Fish
(El Verano de los Peces Voladores)

Film still: The Summer of the Flying Fish Film still: The Summer of the Flying Fish Film still: The Summer of the Flying Fish



Director's Fortnight
Cannes Film Fest

Toronto Intl
Film Fest
"A refined, politically conscious film... a movie of astounding subtlety"
"Lyrical, heartbreaking"
  —Village Voice
"[Director Marcela] Said and her cinematographer Inti Briones clearly share a strong visual eye and a subtle mastery of unsettling mood"
  —Hollywood Reporter
"An evocative piece... with organic performances and an entrancing cinematography"
3 stars "The film's suggestiveness and eerie beauty combine poetry with the politics, adding to the impact of each"
  —Boston Globe

Manena (Francisca Walker) is a very determined teenager, and the darling daughter of Pancho, a rich Chilean landowner who devotes his vacations to a single obsession: the extermination of carp fish that invade his artificial lagoon, which he insists is a foreign infestation of his property. As he resorts to ever more extreme methods over the course of the summer, Manena experiences her first romantic experiences and heartbreak, while discovering a world that silently co-exists alongside her own: that of the indigenous Mapuche Indians, who must now work for her father and his wealthy landowner friends to sustain their opulent living. The Machuche are determined to fight and will not stand by while their ancestral territory is being destroyed. Manena comes to the realization that her father's insensitivity is angering the Mapuche tribe, and she must stop him before he goes too far, a tense situation which builds to a chilling finale.

The Summer of Flying Fish is a coming-of-age tale and simultaneously a subtle political statement about the socioeconomic conflict between the impoverished indigenous people and the affluent sector of the Chilean population who are mainly of European ancestry. As filmmaker Marcela Said has said: "Some years ago I visited one of these astounding mansions in the south of Chile. A daughter of the owner told me a story about her father, who tried by all means—even dynamite—to get rid of the fish that had invaded his lake. With a natural passion for power issues, in no time I took it as a starting point ... I needed to find the right language to evoke this privileged, powerful class and the violence it uses to protect its interests and maintain the status quo ... I wanted to film the tension, the atmosphere of restrained violence which grabbed me by the neck since the very first step I took inside this property..."

Directed by Marcela Said, Chile/France, 2013, 88 mins. In Spanish with English subtitles.


  • Fri., Aug. 8 at 7 & 9 pm
  • Sat., Aug. 9 at 5, 7 & 9 pm
  • Sun., Aug. 10 at 5 & 7 pm
  • Mon.–Thurs., Aug. 11–14 at 7 & 9 pm
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$9 general admission

FREE for Facets Members

The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. Call the Cinémathèque Hotline at 773.281.4114 for the latest schedule, showtimes and updates.

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  • John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Artworks: National Endowment for the Arts
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
  • Comer Family Foundation
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Alphawood Foundation
  • Polk Bros. Foundation