China (105 mins, dir. Xuan Liang, Chun Zhang)
Like Spirited Away in reverse, Big Fish & Begonia is a visually breathtaking Chinese animation that gives ancient Taoist myth a Ghibli-esque make-over.

Over a decade in the making, this groundbreaking fantasy adventure began life as a beloved short before being turned into a feature. The tale of Chun, a supernatural girl who travels to the world of humans on her 16th birthday in the form of a red dolphin, the film explores love and sacrifice with stunning beauty.

Writer/directors Xuan Liang and Chun Zhang have woven a sumptuous, sinuous and uplifting epic out of various folkloric sources including the Zhuangzi (one of the foundation texts of Taoism, alongside the Tao Te Ching), Classic of Mountains and Seas and In Search of the Sacred. Underscored by a delicate soundtrack from anime composer Kiyoshi Yoshida (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time), Big Fish & Begonia is a Chinese box-office hit that sets a new bar in animated artistry.

“An incredibly affirmational journey … that unfolds like a waking dream en route to a state of transcendent bliss few films achieve.” – Variety

06/08/201811:00amACMI 2Past event
14/08/201811:00amACMI 2Past event


Language: Mandarin, with English subtitles
Genre: Animation
Classroom discussion points: Coming of age, use of folklore, family relationships, first love, sacrifice, fantasy, rites of passage.
Age suitability advice: Contains brief scenes of nudity (animated) and mild cartoon violence (a dolphin is harpooned) as well as one scene of a fist fight.
MIFF recommends this film as suitable for ages 10+

Free Webinar