AFI Fest 2017 Dispatch: Metaphysial Masterworks and Nerve-Jangling Debuts

U.S. Editor; Los Angeles, California (@benumstead)
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AFI Fest closed out their 2017 edition last Thursday in Los Angeles with a star-studded showing of the Jessica Chastain starring Molly's Game, written and directed by Aaron Sorkin. And while the American Film Instituite certainly likes their gala premieres and big homgrown fare, it is often when you dig beyond the mainstream and English language that you will be most greatly rewarded.

From an astounding metaphysical masterwork to the two best narrative feature debuts I have seen this year, the following is my sampling of the titles I had the pleasure of seeing at AFI Fest 2017 -- enjoy these capsule reviews!     

On Body and Soul

Hungarian filmmaker Ildikó Enyedi's first narrative feature in 18 years is My Jam. Full Stop.

Because when a film makes you cry in the first ten minutes due to its aesthetic and metaphysical marriage you know it's a masterpiece and only fall deeper in love from there. Nourishing and deeply moving, On Body and Soul appears on the surface as a simple tale of two lonely humans who cross paths at work in an industrial slaughterhouse. To say anything beyond that would get into spoiler territory and ruin what is hands down a metaphysical masterwork of our young century.

Winner of the Golden Bear at this year's Berlinale, Hungary has selected the film as their official Oscar entry while Netflix has North American rights. They will release the film on February 21, 2018.

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AFI FestClosenessDarya ZhovnarEili HarboeEskil VogtHlynur PálmasonIldikó EnyediJoachim TrierKantemir BalagovOn Body and SoulThelmaWinter Brothers