After a two-year disappearance, free-spirited Alicja 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 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. After entrancing audiences with the 2016 horror-musical fairy tale THE LURE, Smoczyńska returns to AFI FEST with a dizzying psychological puzzle of identity and self-discovery. Mesmerizing from the jaw-dropping first frame to the last, FUGUE features a fiercely complex central performance by Gabriela Muskała, who also penned the film’s twisty screenplay. – Jesse Knight
Agnieszka Smoczyńska's short films include ARIA DIVA (2007) and VIVA MARIA! (2010). Her feature debut THE LURE (AFI FEST 2016) premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Special Jury Prize in the World Cinema Dramatic section. FUGUE is her second feature.