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Fantasia 17: “Most Beautiful Island” (2017) ★★★★★

The life of an immigrant is not that easy. Before a newcomer gets his legal documents and becomes a lawful citizen, the sign of his past and the label of “immigrant” won’t go anywhere. However, there is one thing the same person can do is challenge its boundaries, find the right limit and see how far he can go before he falls and gets up again. Most Beautiful Island written, produced, directed and even played by Ana Asensio will give you an exclusive, painful and extremely struggling path of an immigrant who by running away from disturbing memories gets herself into the most dangerous test that will define her future in two possible ways…

Luciana just arrived in New York from Spain. She is undocumented. Having an upsetting memory of the loss of her own child, the woman wants to bury the past as she searches for an opportunity. Juggling between multiple jobs, it’s never enough to earn sufficient amount of funds while even a slight appearance of opportunity slowly distances itself from her. But everything changes when her colleague and friend shares about one job opportunity that might turn her permanent financial difficulties to temporary if she does everything accordingly. Having no better choice, the Spanish woman agrees to at least try soon to realize this was not just a game… and the light at the end of the tunnel she was hoping to see can be as an illusion of someone who loses his life…

Luciana is lacking seventy-five dollars to pay for her visit to the doctor. Her nose is bleeding. Dr. Horovitz tells her: “You can’t be a patient if you can’t afford paying for your appointment.” She even has unwelcomed guests when she takes a bath – cockroaches. The same day but later, Luciana tells her Russian friend Olga: “I am so tired of possibilities. Sometimes I think I may end up homeless.” To add to her point, she could have, and probably would by the end of the day if not for her friend’s generosity to offer Luciana to be her substitute at a private party that will be rewarded with handsome money. Luciana agrees. But before she reaches the life-changing party, she is yet to deal with two spoiled children who with every given opportunity threaten her of getting fired. But all these won’t matter a few hours later… when the battle for Big Dreams in the Big Apple begins in a very dangerous and threatening way…

It’s always good to be rich and smart at the same time. But when somebody is having the first but lacking the second one, that’s unfortunate. The third act of the film, I am sure, will shake anybody to the core, will be a living proof to my statement. Delicately directed, subtly told, profound and with a deep meaning Most Beautiful Island will grab your heart, will remove the sense of time to capture an incredible experience of a group of women who put themselves in high danger in order to earn, seemingly easy money. What happens during that specific time is something I simply can’t put into words. It’s the experience through this spellbinding thriller you will live and relive to finally see what happens when somebody finds herself in a situation when any money earned is good, but how that will happen is something that will be taken cared for on the go.

To conclude that, there is a reason why I left most crucial details of Most Beautiful Island out of my review as it’s important for you to know a little before you embark yourself to the nail-biting journey. At some point it will be unbearable to watch the third act, but patience and brilliant storytelling will leave you unarmed and unready to capitulate. But once you finally reach to the end credit, don’t forget to give a round of applause to Ana Asensio for delivering an outstanding performance, writing the story and directing it. Because it’s nothing less than a true masterpiece you would never want to miss.

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