Award-winning director Eva Lanska talks to us about her film Little French Fish that is showing at the Chelsea Film Festival in New York, NY.
Eva Lanska’s Little French Fish bringing attention the issues of interfaith marriages as portrayed between an Orthodox Judaist woman (Devora Wilde) and a Muslim man (Jonas Khan). After successfully publishing five novels, Lanska presents her third film at the Chelsea Film Festival in New York between October 15-18, 2020.
This is a timely film as Unite Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Israel begin to improve, advancing peace in the Middle East and normalizing relations between the three countries, Lanska’s film conveys the wistful and anguishing sentiments felt by both communities through a new spin on the classic Romeo and Juliet tale. The intercultural couple falls in love while feeling the pressure of traditional conflicts and strict social order. The couple has two options: either follow tradition and please society or ruin established stereotypes and follow their hearts. Cultural boundaries constrain the couple, similarly to many families torn apart by the stigma and disputes throughout the Middle East.
Lanska’s films are known for their provocation to compelling discussions of universal issues. In Little French Fish, she leaves her viewers with an open-ended question and the responsibility to choose the characters’ fate. She believes that a successful movie is the one that makes viewers raise hard questions rather than find easy answers.
I spoke with Lanska about the film, the significance of its timing and the difficulties of going virtual when a film like this should be seen with an audience. As relations between some Middle Eastern nations begin to improve and others still face all out war on the European boarder, we are glad that love is still a possibility even during these troubling times.
Little French Fish shows the Chelsea Film Festival in New York between October 15-18, 2020.