The Spider's stratagem

Italy, 1970

Please note

Sorry, we aren't able to make images or video for this item available to the public online.

Source: Some information on this page may have been sourced as part of the 2023 Wikimedia Australia Partnership Projects grant, with the purpose of improving and expanding the use of Wikidata on our website. Wikidata is a free and open knowledge base that can be read and edited by both humans and machines. Read more about this project here.

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.

Content notification

Our collection comprises over 40,000 moving image works, acquired and catalogued between the 1940s and early 2000s. As a result, some items may reflect outdated, offensive and possibly harmful views and opinions. ACMI is working to identify and redress such usages.

Learn more about our collection and our collection policy here. If you come across harmful content on our website that you would like to report, let us know.

How to watch

This work has not been digitised and is currently unavailable to view online. It may be possible for approved reseachers to view onsite at ACMI.

Learn more about accessing our collection


In ACMI's collection



Bernardo Bertolucci


Giovanni Bertolucci

production company

Radiotelevisione Italiana

Red Film



Production places
Production dates

Please note: this archive is an ongoing body of work. Sometimes the credit information (director, year etc) isn’t available so these fields may be left blank; we are progressively filling these in with further research.

Cite this work on Wikipedia

If you would like to cite this item, please use the following template: {{cite web |url= |title=The Spider's stratagem |author=Australian Centre for the Moving Image |access-date=20 July 2024 |publisher=Australian Centre for the Moving Image}}