TIFF Review: The Girl and the Spider

Lisa and Mara

The butterfly effect theory posits that even a slight change in an initial condition can have a much greater impact on a later event. As the saying goes, if a butterfly flaps its wings in the Amazon Rainforest it could eventually cause a tornado on the other side of the world. One small seemingly unconnected event can begin a chain reaction leading to something much larger. In The Girl and the Spider, little ripples threaten to cause a flood.

Lisa (Liliane Amuat) is preparing to move out of her Berlin apartment she shares with Mara (Henriette Confurius) into her own place. A number of friends, neighbours, strangers and animals float in and out of the rooms as she packs up and move in, along with her mother (Ursina Lardi) and the hired help (Flurin Giger and André Hennicke). They flicker in an out of each other’s spheres as the day goes on, their interactions providing tiny catalysts.

Set in just two locations, The Girl and the Spider is an intriguing chamber drama which follows the changing relationships between the multiple players. There’s much unsaid, and whilst Mara lingers like a spare peg, there’s clearly much more to their relationship than Ramon and Silvan Zürcher are letting on. A thoughtless action here, a carless word there. It soon stacks up. The Girl and the Spider is intriguing and absorbing relationships study.

The Girl and the Spider screens at Toronto International Film Festival.

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