Filmmaker Kevin Jerome Everson marks one of the few contemporary directors aggressively working to expand the boundaries of the <I>cinematic essay</I> as a narrative mode. Within this sphere as well, Everson's approach to filmmaking waxes unique: it involves building cohesive sequences out of individual components so evocative and poetic that each carries a myriad of connotations and could ostensibly stand on its own; woven together, the sequences enable Everson to meditate extensively on a given theme. With The Golden Age of Fish, Everson takes on a broad subject: the life, sustenance and collective future of the African American population in the U.S. The director travels to Midwestern Cleveland, Ohio, and looks at black lives from a myriad of angles - sociologically, culturally, economically, historically - while a black geologist narrates several tales of individual African American stories set in Cleveland. The title refers to the "Devonian" period of archaeology, some 417 to 354 million years B.C., when fish first began to appear in the area that is now Cleveland.