For a film chronicling a group of grave-robbers, La Chimera is markedly full of life and uproar. Disheveled English archaeologist Arthur (The Crown‘s Josh O’Connor) has just completed his prison sentence and longs for his late lover, Beniamina. He teams up with a wayward crew of “tombaroli,” or grave-robbers, who contribute to a thriving market in stolen Etruscan goods. They regard Arthur as a mystic for his ability to use a forked tree branch to locate treasures.
As Arthur immerses himself in the tombaroli, he’s not yet rid of his crazed grief, and he wonders if he might be reunited with Beniamina beyond the mortal world. Set in 1980s Tuscany, Alice Rohrwacher brings audiences an outlandish film that pays homage to Italy’s rich cinematic history and occupies a unique space between romanticism, folklore, and realism.
“Alice Rohrwacher’s new film is a beguiling fantasy-comedy of lost love: garrulous, uproarious and celebratory in her absolutely distinctive style.” -Guardian, Peter Bradshaw