After a two-year disappearance, free-spirited Alicja (screenwriter Gabriela Muskala) is reunited with her parents, husband and young son despite having no memory of them. Suddenly thrust back into a domestic life she has no recollection of choosing, Alicja struggles to reconcile her new and unfamiliar roles of dependability with the unshackled independence sprung by her recent mental break.
With surreal, icy imagery and a seductively hypnotic atmosphere, director Agnieszka Smoczyńska’s (The Lure) sophomore feature burrows into the landscape of Alicja’s mind, excavating the societal burdens and duties expected of women, and whether personal freedom is truly attainable.
Fugue evokes the social taboos around motherhood and the pressure on women to accept maternity without hesitation or reflection, as though the biological capacity of giving birth means that every woman should be willing to be a mother.
A dizzying psychological puzzle of identity and self-discovery. Mesmerizing from the jaw-dropping first frame to the last.
AFI Fest Los Angeles, CA • Alamo Drafthouse Los Angeles, CA • Alamo Drafthouse, New York City, NY • Alamo DrafthouseSouth Lamar Austin, TX • American Cinematheque Los Angeles, CA • Fantastic Fest Austin, TX • Gateway Film Center Columbus, OH • Lumiere Music Hall Beverly Hills, CA • Nitehawk Brooklyn, NY • Northwest Film Forum Seattle, WA • Polish Cultural Institute New York, NY • Polish Film Festival in America Chicago, IL • Portland International Film Festival Portland, OR
"A character study of a woman desperately trying to resolve one identity with another. An anxious, storm-brewing melodrama. Gravely composed, its controlled expansiveness of tone, psychology and camera mark its helmer as a stylist of considerable, unpredictable finesse."- Guy Lodge, Variety
"Actress Gabriela Muskala delivers a tense, seething central performance as the woman who rises from the dead. Her hard stares and muscular, almost ‘animalistic’ movement imbues the whole film with a strained energy."- Sucheta Chakraborty, Cinevue
About the filmmaker
Agnieszka Smoczyńska is a Polish film and television writer and director. She is an alumnus of the Krzysztof Kieślowski Film School in Katowice. Her debut feature film The Lure which was released in US by the Criterion Collection in 2017. It also includes the short films Aria Diva and Viva Maria!.