La ChimeraLa Chimera
(2023)
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La Chimera

An English archaeologist seeks a legendary door to the underworld with his tomb-robbing crew.

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Why watch this film?

Whether in the documentary genre (Four Roads) or in dramatic fiction (Happy as Lazzaro), Italian filmmaker Alice Rohrwacher has the ability to capture a certain dreamlike texture, or magical realism, as if her stories were set in other times or planes of existence that are both familiar and impossible. The same can be said of La Chimera, her film selected at the Cannes Festival 2023. The plot follows a small-time thief, Arthur (The Crown's Josh O'Connor), who is just getting out of prison and returns to his old ways when he is recruited by his old gang to search for and steal antiques. However, his search is something more personal and mystical, as he longs for a woman he lost. The narrative is as chimerical as his character's journey, and therefore there is a mystery at the heart of the film that speaks to both our sense and purpose of life, as well as the longing and lament for what is lost in time.

Lalo Ortega

Lalo Ortega

Assistant Editor at Filmelier

Plot summary

Just out of jail and still searching for his late beloved Beniamina, crumpled English archaeologist Arthur reconnects with his wayward crew of tombaroli accomplices – a happy-go-lucky collective of itinerant grave-robbers who survive by looting Etruscan tombs and fencing the ancient treasures they dig up. Arthur isn’t interested in the artefacts, though; he’s seeking a legendary door to the underworld, and to Beniamina.

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Where to watch?

No longer in theaters