Virtual Cinémathèque THE MELBOURNE CINÉMATHÈQUE & ACMI PRESENT

The Spider's Stratagem

PG Scroll to content

The son of a martyred anti-fascist hero travels to a small Italian village searching for the truth behind his father’s death, only to unravel a web of myths, mysteries and lies.

In this intimate, mesmeric film based on the short story Theme of the Traitor and the Hero (1944) by Jorge Luis Borges and exquisitely shot in vibrant shades by Franco Di Giacomo and Vittorio Storaro, Bertolucci’s delicately elusive and deftly non-linear approach grapples with themes of historical legacy, cultural inheritance and the intersection of sex, violence and ideology.

Released within months of The Conformist, The Spider’s Stratagem demonstrates both the full range of Bertolucci’s work and his characteristic preoccupation with the legacies of history, place and identity.