Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 1h 42m
Director(s): Agnieszka SmoczyÅ„ska
Writer(s): Gabriela Muskala
Cast: Gabriela Muskala, Lukasz Simlat, Malgorzata Buczkowska, Piotr Skiba, Halina Rasiakówna, Zbigniew Walerys, Dariusz Chojnacki, Iwo Rajski
Language: Polish w/English Subtitles
Where To Watch: opens in New York City on March 31, 2023
RAVING REVIEW: FUGUE presents a moving story of a woman confronting memory loss while trying to rebuild her shattered life. After years of “freedom,” she is thrust back into her family life, where her husband and child no longer recognize her. Everything she knows is questioned as she journeys through the unfamiliar life. The film addresses society's expectations of motherhood, underscoring the unreasonable pressures placed upon women to accept this role without hesitation.
The unique filmmaking experience takes a different path than the norm with visually stunning storytelling, which reveals an intricate web of emotions and relationships. Amidst breathtaking scenery, FUGUE explores themes that traditionally are considered two very different things. A connection between nature and human existence is explored in a unique way that I wouldn’t have ever thought of.
We start with a cryptic scene depicting a disoriented woman emerging from a subway station, feeling detached and confused. This opening seizes the audience's attention, sparking an insatiable desire to learn her story. Even though the film has a somber atmosphere and occasionally portrays human nature in a harsh light, her journey of self-discovery offers glimmers of hope and warmth.
FUGUE's unique and captivating narrative about a woman forced to assume a new perceived identity after losing her memory resonates with viewers, inviting a profound exploration of life, love, and the pursuit of self. The film blends drama, thriller, and surrealism elements, creating a mesmerizing ambiance.
FUGUE's inspiration is rooted in the real-life story of a woman who suffered from dissociative fugue disorder—a rare psychiatric condition characterized by amnesia coupled with sudden unexpected travel away from the individual's usual surroundings and denial of all memory of their whereabouts during the period of wandering. Director Agnieszka SmoczyÅ„ska and screenwriter Gabriela Muskala were fascinated by this woman's struggle to rebuild her life after such a traumatic event.
FUGUE offers a compelling and emotionally charged cinematic experience that challenges norms and expectations by examining our world with a unique view. The film immerses viewers in Alicja's dreamlike, surreal, uncanny inner world, portraying her journey with a style that makes you feel like you’re almost experiencing it yourself.
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[film courtesy of DEKANALOG]