FANTASTIC FEST: Nr. 10 (2021)

Alex van Warmerdam, who also made Borgman and Schneider vs. Bax, has really made one of the strangest films I’ve seen at Fantastic Fest, which is a real testament. That’s because it starts like some sort of highbrow art film, as a director worries about the opening night of his new play. One of the actors has a dying wife and can’t keep his mind on his lines. And speaking of wives, the director’s wife is currently having an affair with Günter, the lead actor, whose daughter Lizzy has just discovered that she has a rare disease. And oh yeah — he thinks that the world is against him.

And then everything changes on a level that doesn’t just change the story of the film, it fundamentally changes the way that everyone on Earth views the entire universe.

If you want to be as surprised as I was stop reading right now.

When Günter was four years old, he was found alone in a German forest. Raised by a foster couple, he’s never wondered about his past until a man walks up to him in the street and utters the  phrase “kamaihí.” Now, he wants to know exactly who his mother is. And he wants to know what that word means. And he wants to know why so many Catholic priests are following him.

Seriously, this movie does beyond a rug pull. It changes not only the story but the viewer. I know that sounds like pure hyperbole, but that’s what this movie deserves. I watched the last scene several times and blown away by just how audacious it is.

While Nr. 10 has just debuted at Fantastic Fest, this is a movie that you need to mark down on your watch list and get ready for when it’s released. I really don’t want to say much more, because I feel like you owe it to yourself to be surprised.

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