Chile is becoming a powerhouse in film and TV. Spider (Araña) just adds to that reputation.
Chile 1972: Inés and Justo are lynchpins in an anti-Allende Nationalist group. After recruiting Gerardo to their cause, the political action gets more violent, and a love-triangle emerges. The personal and the political collide.
Chile 2018: Inés and Justo live in a beautiful home in the suburbs of Santiago. Inés is a university professor and member of several important boards. Justo, once a professional himself is now sinking into alcoholism. Despite his issues, they live comfortably and happily enough. That is, until Gerardo reappears in their lives.
Director Andrés Wood has chosen a subject that still fascinates: the events in Chile in the 70s. Wood was a producer on the extraordinary series Mary & Mike, and clearly has a feel for the content, and the period itself. He has great material to work with in an outstanding screenplay by Guillermo Calderón.
Mercedes Morán, Marcelo Alonso, and Felipe Armas star as Inés, Gerardo, and Justo respectively. Playing their younger selves are María Valverde, Pedro Fontaine, and Gabriel Urzúa. All six actors bring passion and depth to their roles, delivering Calderón’s script with an authenticity which is utterly moving.
Wood’s direction, along with Andrea Chignoli’s faultless editing, ensure this is a film with not a missed beat. The tension, both political and personal, never lets up, yet still gives the audience moments in which to catch their breath. And the ending is shocking, confronting, and brilliant.
Spider is that rare creature: a political film, which is soaked in humanity, yet eschews sentimentality, and somehow manages to remain ideologically neutral. It is near-perfect film-making.
Spider screens as part of the Moro Spanish Film Festival which runs from April 27th to May 16th at Palace Nova Eastend and Prospect.
Click here for session times.