SXSW 2017 Review: MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAND

By Jan Hamilton

In this dark but hopeful drama, the leading lady is also the writer and director of the film.  Luciana (Ana Asensio) plays a struggling immigrant in New York who is trying to get past the death of her child in Spain.  Tall, beautiful and graceful, Luciana works a series of demanding, low paying jobs.  She hurries from one to the next each day, constantly trying to make rent to avoid being put out onto the street by her roommate.  

When Olga, her only local friend and also an immigrant, tells her of a party where she can make great money, she is intrigued.  Olga assures Luciana that she need not worry; she will not be have to do anything she does not want to do.  When she find out what really goes on at these parties, Luciana finds out she is not allowed to leave.  How she handles this and what she does makes for an exciting and dramatic conclusion.  Luciana finds out just how much humanity she has left to draw upon.  With wonderful performances from all, this film won the Grand Jury Award for Narrative Feature.

The Bottom Line: A must see film, full of determination and spirit.

Director:  Ana Asensio

Producer:  Ana Asensio and others

Screenwriter:  Ana Asensio

Cinematography:  Noah Greenberg

Editor:  Carl Ambrose, Francisco Bello

Sound Editor:  Matt Howard

Sound Design:  Jeffery Alan Jones

Music:  Jeffery Alan Jones

Principal Cast:  Ana Asensio, Natasha Romanova, David Little, Nicholas Tucci,

Larry Fessenden, Caprice Benedetti, Anna Myrha, Ami Sheth

 

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