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La Chimera film image

Alice Rohrwacher’s first feature since the widely acclaimed Happy As Lazzaro five years ago is an exhilaratingly unpredictable, mysterious, rough and tumble tale of a disheveled English tomb raider living on the margins amongst a roisterous group of Italian bohemians: singers, smugglers, peasants and petty thieves. Even in this rum company Arthur (Josh O’Connor) is an odd duck, but he’s at the heart of their operations because he has the gift of divination: he sniffs out ancient Etruscan graves, and with them treasure troves of artifacts buried with the dead.

Rohrwacher’s story (she wrote the original screenplay) could be called oblique and whimsical, but her movie is rooted in the rude, earthy tradition of Pasolini, the Tavianis and Roberto Rossellini (whose daughter Isabella has an extended cameo here as the mother of Arthur’s beloved, missing Beniamina). That is to say, it’s a vivid and authentic film of the land and the people who live on it, not to mention those who came before and are buried underneath.

La Chimera sneaks up on you. Rohrwacher is a discreet virtuoso with a visual style that is appealing and demonstrably unshowy. She reveals beauty rather than pummels you with it, the way flashier filmmakers do, and lets meaning emerge without trumpet blasts. She invites you to look at the world, to follow the thread, assemble the pieces.

Manohla Dargis, New York Times

Mournful yet exuberant, La Chimera is a towering work of art presented with the unassuming invitation of a warming summer morning.

Carlos Aguilar, LA Times

Given the way O’Connor lends this lost soul such a downbeat charisma and genuine sense of pain, you’re just thankful that we’re getting a performer of such immense talent doing justice to this tomb raider right now.

David Fear, Rolling Stone

Director

Alice Rohrwacher

Cast

Josh O’Connor, Isabella Rossellini, Alba Rohrwacher, Carol Duarte, Vincenzo Nemolato

Credits
Country of Origin

Italy/France/Switzerland

Year

2023

Language

In Italian and English with English subtitles

Awards

Best Screenplay, Grand Prize of the Jury Cannes 2023

19+
130 min

Book Tickets

Saturday May 18

5:30 pm
Hearing Assistance Subtitles
VIFF Centre - Lochmaddy Studio Theatre
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Sunday May 19

7:00 pm
Hearing Assistance Subtitles
VIFF Centre - Lochmaddy Studio Theatre
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Tuesday May 21

8:10 pm
Hearing Assistance Subtitles
VIFF Centre - Lochmaddy Studio Theatre
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Tuesday June 04

1:30 pm
Hearing Assistance Subtitles
VIFF Centre - Lochmaddy Studio Theatre
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Thursday June 06

5:50 pm
Hearing Assistance Subtitles
VIFF Centre - Lochmaddy Studio Theatre
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Credits

Executive Producer

Eli Bush, Jeff Deutchman, Alexandra Henochsberg, Alessio Lazzareschi, Manuela Melissano, Pierre-Francois Piet

Producer

Carlo Cresto-Dina

Screenwriter

Alice Rohrwacher

Cinematography

Hélène Louvart

Editor

Nelly Quettier

Production Design

Emita Frigato

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La Chimera

Rohrwacher's first feature since Happy As Lazzaro is an exhilaratingly wild, mysterious, rough and tumble tale of a disheveled English tomb raider (Josh O'Connor) living with a roisterous group of Italian bohemians: singers, smugglers and petty thieves.

VIFF Centre - Lochmaddy Studio Theatre