The Spider's Stratagem

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The Spider's Stratagem
Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci
Produced by Giovanni Bertolucci
Written by Bernardo Bertolucci
Marilù Parolini
Edoardo De Gregorio
Jorge Luis Borges
Starring Giulio Brogi
Alida Valli
Music by Giuseppe Verdi from Aida and Rigoletto
Cinematography Vittorio Storaro
Edited by Roberto Perpignani
Release dates
(August 1970, Italy
5 January 1973 (USA)
Running time
100 minutes
Country Italy
Language Italian

The Spider's Stratagem (Italian: Strategia del ragno) (1970) is a political film directed by Bernardo Bertolucci.

The screenplay was written by Bertolucci based on "Theme of the Traitor and the Hero" story written by Jorge Luis Borges.


Athos Magnani, a young researcher, returns to Tara, where his father was killed before his birth, at the request of his mistress, Draifa. The father, also named Athos Magnani (a wartime anti-fascist hero) and looking exactly like the son, was killed by a fascist in 1936—or so says Draifa, the town statue, and everyone in the city. As the son untangles the web of lies this story is constructed from, he finds himself ensnared in the same web.


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