Film Review: Jupiter’s Moon

There’s been no bigger news story, around the world, this decade than the continuing refugee crisis. It is a social and political issue which has been covered extensively by documentary film-makers, most effectively by Ai Weiwei in Human Flow, Gianfranco Rosi in Lost at Sea and Steph Ching and Ellen Martinez in After Spring. In narrative features, it’s often tackled through comedy (Le Harve, The Other Side of Hope) or science fiction (Children of Men, District 9). In Jupiter’s Moon, director Kornél Mundruczó throws Biblical and supernatural themes into the mix.

Aryan Dashni (Zsombor Jéger) and his father (David Yengibarian) are part of a group of refugees desperate to start a new life in Europe. Whilst trying to cross the Hungarian border, the pair get separated and Aryan is shot three times by a policeman (György Cserhalmi). He’s taken to a hospital and examined by Dr. Gabor Stern (Merab Ninidze). Being shot has a strange effect on Aryan, bestowing on him the ability to levitate. Stern, who’s being sued for negligence, sees a chance to profit and parades him around his rich patients claiming he has angelic powers. Aryan, just wants to find his dad.

Jupiter’s Moon is a rather strange and often unfocused film. Following on from the impressive White God, Mundruczó really opens up and expands his horizons; squeezing several different themes into the runtime. Whilst it’s muddled at times and shows its hand very quickly, the sheer intent is breath-taking. It’s beautifully shot and at times feels almost profound. Not everything clicks, and the terror angle is the weakest, but the fact films like Jupiter’s Moon are being made is truly extraordinary.

Jupiter’s Moon is in cinemas from 5 January.

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