On Body and Soul is a story of two people who don’t know each other but share the same dreams. Endre (Géza Morcsányi) is the director of a slaughterhouse that is visited by a new quality inspector Maria (Alexandra Borbély). The autistic Maria is not confident in her environment and Endre, wounded by former relationships, refrains from social life outside of work. Normally Maria and Endre would probably not approach each other but at nights they meet in the form of two deer unbound by the limitations of the human world.
On Body and Soul was the return to filmmaking for Hungarian Ildikó Enyedi after a hiatus of almost two decades. It won the main prize of Berlin Film Festival and received an Oscar nomination for best foreign language film. Enyedi’s most well-known film has received some criticism for its portrayal of women, but a more benevolent audience would hardly get agitated about this sincere and sympathetic film.
In this fascinating film Eneydi juxtaposes the bloody slaughterhouse and the glowing snowy dream forest. At daytime cows are killed but at night deer wander around without worries. On Body and Soul is an innovative depiction of humanity’s emotional blind spots, wasted opportunities and dreams about them. (Ilpo Hirvonen)