Fish Tank

Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank – an eye-opening, enthralling film.

Aggro and teenager Mia go together like fags and alcohol. Taunts and sneers at home with her little sister and single mother, a head butt for one of the other girls in her council block, a set-to with some travellers whose horse she tries to steal. She doesn’t go to school, she stands up to everyone, and she doesn’t give a fuck.

How does she not go mad? She wanders around and about. She drinks, and she loves dancing, often at the same time. In an empty flat that she’s broken into, she dances alone, and really well. And then she meets someone whom she’s reluctantly charmed by – her mum’s new boyfriend.

Arnold and début actor Katie Jarvis really get inside the mind and feelings of a young person deeply at odds with the world. And with the anger they reveal yearning and the need to love and be loved. This is a magnificent, eye-opening, moving and enthralling film.


mag cover This article is from the October 2009 issue of New Internationalist.
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