Piece Comment

Review of Just Another Fish Story

On the face of it, this is the story of a big, stinky whale that washed up on a Maine beach ten years ago. The people who lived there had to figure out how to dispose of its rotting carcass. But dig a little deeper and this is the story of the unreliability of witnesses and mortality. In the documentary film "The Thin Blue Line," director Erroll Morris shows how people who see the same event can have vastly different interpretations about what happened. Producer Molly Menschel makes the same revelation here. She quotes people describing the color and position of the dead whale, but the descriptions vary greatly. "Just another Fish Story" also questions the meaning of life in an unromantic manner. Near the end of the piece, a grizzled old man says this: "There's a lot of people who think 'I'm so big. I'm so great.' No matter how powerful they are something will happen in life that will cause people to say, 'How small am I anyway?'" Amen.