LA CHIMERA has an odd tempo, like a half-remembered story from long ago that becomes clearer when there’s a little rhyme to help you along. Arthur (Josh O’Connor) is a rogue archaeologist, robbing graves and raiding Etruscan tombs. His quasi-mystic gift for finding lost things through a weird dowsing ritual gives the film a mythic quality, rich with allegory.

It’s only later in the film after an objection from his friend Italia (Carol Duarte) and a powerful shot of oxygen entering a freshly-disturbed tomb fundamentally changing the objects and paintings that have been sealed away for millennia that we start to wonder if Italia is right: if this desecration is surrounding Arthur with the souls of those from whom he’s stolen. Are these artefacts what he truly values or is there something more?