The Spider's stratagem

Italy, 1970

Image via TMDb

Adapted from a J. L. Borges’ short story, “The Theme of the Traitor and the Hero”, Bertolucci’s fourth feature is a haunting mystery about a young man returning to his patriarchal village to avenge the murder of his anti-fascist father. The young man’s return, however, results in his personal confrontation with the Freudian mysteries of the unconscious; in particular the secrets repressed by memory. In uncovering the truth about his father the young man begins to lose his own sense of identity. Bertolucci creates a claustrophobic, menacing atmosphere that reflects the confusion of his young hero. The ravishing cinematography is by Vittorio Storaro.

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Giovanni Bertolucci

production company

Radiotelevisione Italiana

Red Film


Bernardo Bertolucci



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