7.9/10
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14 user 108 critic

On Body and Soul (2017)

Teströl és lélekröl (original title)
When slaughterhouse workers Endre and Mária discover they share the same dreams - where they meet in a forest as deer and fall in love - they decide to make their dreams come true but it's difficult in real life.

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655 ( 46)
8 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Géza Morcsányi ...
Endre (as Morcsányi Géza)
...
Zoltán Schneider ...
Jenö
Ervin Nagy ...
Tamás Jordán ...
Mária's doctor
Zsuzsa Járó ...
Zsuzsa
Réka Tenki ...
Júlia Nyakó ...
Rózsi
Itala Békés ...
Zsóka
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Éva Bata ...
Köves Jutka
Zsófi Bódi ...
Piroska
Hanna Csata ...
Kissing girl
István Dankó ...
Salesman (cd store)
Annamária Fodor ...
Saleswoman (telephone store)
Attila Fritz ...
Peti
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Storyline

On the outskirts of Budapest, the ageing recluse, Endre, is the reserved and saturnine manager of a small abattoir, who is used to hiding his disabled left arm along with his emotions behind a busy schedule. And then, unexpectedly, the loner's eye is caught by a shy and graceful newcomer in the office; the young Mária, the plant's cryptic and glacially beautiful quality-control inspector. Strange as it may seem, the slaughterhouse will provide the unorthodox background for a timid affair between the tender outcasts, who, even though they seem to be polar opposites, a small theft within the company's walls will prove that those two definitely share an eerie and almost spiritual bond. However, are the two dreamers, Endre and Mária, ready to embrace the catharsis of love on both body and soul? Written by Nick Riganas

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Genres:

Drama | Romance

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Details

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Release Date:

2 March 2017 (Hungary)  »

Also Known As:

On Body and Soul  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Official submission of Hungary to the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 90th Academy Awards in 2018. See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing credits: "Some animals were harmed during filming, but none of them for the sake of this film..." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Filmbarátok Podcast: Episode #1.120 (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

What He Wrote
Written and Performed by Laura Marling
Courtesy of Ribbon Records
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User Reviews

 
Unusual love story in unusual setting, very well portraying two main protagonists, both not socially streetwise. Golden Bear winner at Berlinale 2017
22 February 2017 | by See all my reviews

Saw this at the Berlinale film festival 2017, where it was part of the official Competition. Possibly a spoiler but no secret anymore: It won the Golden Bear for best film. Unusual love story in an even more unusual setting, namely a slaughterhouse. The two main protagonists, the financial director and a newly appointed quality controller, are both not socially streetwise. Their personalities with their deviancies are very well portrayed, letting them stand out from cardboard characters that appear in some (other) love stories.

The movie opens in a forest where we see one male and one female deer, watching each other from a distance. At later moments, we see variations of the same scene. But before we think this is some form of running gag, we get the reason why it is important and why it is repeated with small variations. It comes to light as a side effect of a psychological screening of all personnel working in the slaughterhouse, that the two main protagonists have identical dreams at night with said two deer in a forest. Initially, they both consider it unbelievable. And the resident psychologist even assumes that she is the victim of a practical joke, and does not believe it either. Their disbelief ends when they compare notes, and observe the similarities as well as the progress in the dreams, in hindsight easy to be derived from our knowledge what to look for as the couple grows closer together in cautious steps.

All in all, the screenplay demonstrates very well how the two main protagonists get attracted to each other, and how the rest of the slaughterhouse staff behaves around them. They are not exactly outcasts but not an integral part of the social structure either, so gossip and unfriendly comments are to be expected. The slow progress in their courtship is juxtaposed with the two deer in their respective dreams who come closer together in tiny steps. It is all very unusual, but one never gets the feeling that it is too far-fetched.


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