The Girl and the Spider

Director Ramon Zürcher,Silvan Zürcher / 2021 / Switzerland

An intricate psychological ode to simmering emotion amid unfettered separation anxiety, which took home a FIPRESCI Prize and Best Director award from the Berlinale’s Encounters competition.

Lisa is moving into a new apartment, leaving former flatmates Mara and Markus adrift. Mara, in particular, struggles with the change. While everyone else pitches in to help Lisa set up her new home, Mara moons about, mostly just getting in the way. At one point, she even makes a joke about being a ghost – and, as she continues to haunt Lisa’s life, her yearning for things to remain the same becomes infectious.

The second film in Ramon and Silvan Zürcher’s loose trilogy about human togetherness follows their award-winning feature debut, The Strange Little Cat, in building a lingering claustrophobic tension hemmed in by four walls. As extended family members, neighbours, handymen and hangers-on pass in and out of the two flats, a palpable undercurrent of sexual desire and jealously fills the frame, and an increasingly chaotic whirl of ambiguity – underscored by Eugen Doga’s Gramofon waltz – threatens to tear it all apart. As a cinematic madrigal on the nature of impermanence, The Girl and the Spider is a unique work of taut, existential distinction.

“A powerfully choreographed exploration of alienation … told through an uncompromisingly original, tantalizing and opaque narrative that curiously moves like a dancer.” – High on Films

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