Irish Film Institute -LA CHIMERA



131 mins, Italy-France-Switzerland, 2023, Digital, Subtitled, F-Rated

On his release from prison, Arthur (Josh O’Connor) immediately visits Flora (Isabella Rossellini), mother of his lost love. Although Arthur’s tendency is to keep to himself, he soon falls in with a group of tombaroli, grave robbers who loot the ancient Etruscan tombs prevalent in the area for goods to sell on the black market, the very activity that put Arthur in jail in the first place. He is further drawn out of his shell by Flora’s housekeeper Italia (Carol Duarte) and the children she has been hiding in Flora’s house without her knowledge.

This beguiling film from Alice Rohrwacher (The Wonders, 2014; Happy as Lazzaro, 2018) makes for not just an entertaining narrative with occasional touches of magic realism, but also a thoughtful meditation on loss, the implacable nature of time, and the micro and macrocosmic influence of the past.

Notes by Kevin Coyne

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