Once upon a time ... is the best way to tell the incredible story of the
adventures of the mermaid’ Alisa in the Russian capital Moscow. There was
a time when Alisa lived by the sea. Her life was nothing out of the ordinary.
She dreamed of one day dancing in a ballet; she sang in a children’s choir
and attended a special school, because, at the age of six, she suddenly
stopped speaking. None of which would be noteworthy, were it not for the
fact that Alisa possessed a remarkable gift: the ability to fulfil wishes.
At the age of 18 she leaves her coastal town for Moscow, where her destiny
soon takes hold and she meets him ... a man whose desire to be saved and
protected is pretty much written all over him. Alisa takes him by the hand
- and this changes her life.
This film by Azerbaijani director Anna Melikian is a modern fairy tale in
which age-old myths and youthful imagination are merged in a surreal
urban romance. The dream-like storyline is mirrored by the visual approach
Anna Melikian has chosen to recount the adventures of a mermaid’ who
finds herself washed up inland.