Poland, Sweden, Czech Republic
Her estranged husband and son do not recognise this woman who looks familiar, but behaves like a stranger. Feelings of alienation, love and revelations rekindle her interior flame.
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.
We found out that this woman was suffering from dissociative fugue disorder, a rare psychiatric condition that can manifest itself in unplanned travel, leaving the family home, partial memory loss and change of personality. In one moment a life becomes a blank slate again. We took this condition as the starting point for our character Alicja. She has the chance to create life anew and she uses this opportunity to the fullest and then is suddenly thrown back into her forgotten past life. In my previous film, THE LURE, I explored issues of female identity by means of experimenting with musical and horror genres. In FUGUE, I focused on recreating the internal world experienced by Alicja, which is often dreamlike, surreal, and uncanny.
When I create a movie, a crucial part of my process is taking inspiration from paintings and photography. Here, I was drawing from the works of the Polish painter Alex Urban and American photographers: Brookie Didonato, Cristina Coral and Evelyn Benicova. The archetypes of female subjugation and redefining women’s role in society are the core of their work. To me, the story of Alicja touches on the themes of the essence of identity and personal freedom. To what extent is our thinking about ourselves, influenced by our environment and our past.
THE LURE has received numerous awards at festivals world-wide, including Fantasporto, Sofia, Montreal, Vilnius and the Sundance Film Festival, where she received the Special Jury Prize for “a unique vision and design”, and subsequently released in countries such as the US, Japan and Taiwan (including a Criterion Collection Blu-ray release).
In 2017, Agnieszka was invited by the Sydney Film Festival, Variety and European Film Promotion to participate in the “European Cinema: Ten Women Filmmakers to Watch“ program. She is a recipient of the Global Filmmaking Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
2018 – FUGUE
2015 – THE LURE
2010 – VIVA MARIA!, short
2007 – ARIA DIVA, short
2004 – 3 LOVE, short
2003 – THE HAT, short
Cast & Crew
Directed by: Agnieszka Smoczyńska
Written by: Gabriela Muskała
Produced by: Agnieszka Kurzydło
Cinematography: Jakub Kijowski
Editing: Jaroslaw Kaminski
Production Design: Jagna Dobesz
Costume Design: Monika Kaleta
Make-Up & Hair: Monika Kaleta
Original Score: Filip Míšek
Sound Design: Niklas Skarp, Marcin Lenarczyk
Visual Effects: Michal Křeček
Cast: Gabriela Muskała (Alicja/Kinga), Łukasz Simlat (Krzysztof)
Nominations and Awards
- Feature Film Selection 2018