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On Body and Soul

Director:  Ildikó Enyedi
Year Released:  2017
Rating:  3.0

Terribly awkward Mária (Alexandra Borbély) goes to work at a Hungarian slaughterhouse as an inspector but can't make friends - after a bizarre crime that takes place in the facility, a psychiatrist comes in, interviews the staff, and discovers that Maria and the company's one-armed chief financial officer Endre (Géza Morcsányi) have been having the same dream every night, in which they're both deer in the forest. The world of motion pictures is usually quick to make males the socially bumbling, lonely type, so it's nice that Enyedi decided to center her movie around a female who has (I'm guessing) some kind of high-functioning autism - what's also intriguing is how the movie handles the clash between the cruelty of Earthly existence (animals get slaughtered, people are disfigured or coping with mental defects) and ethereal beauty, and the possibility that there is a hidden, mystical dimension to life. Few movies have the capacity of making me feel upset, but the scene with Mária in the bathtub at the end had me extremely on-edge - all it took was a phone call to save her life.

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