La Migala


La Migala tells the story of a man who is emotionally crippled by feelings of isolation and despair, the telltale signs of  a broken heart. Luckily, our depressed hero finds the ultimate solution to overcome his grief; he buys himself a huge, venomous arachnid and lets it loose in the apartment. Honestly, it makes perfect sense; he wants to replace the emptiness he feels with something far worse. As his narration puts it; “Inside that box was the personal hell that I would install in my home to destroy, to cancel the other”.

After taking into account the bizarre and unsettling premise, the film reveals itself to be much more than a simple experiment in absurd horror for pure shock value. At its core, La Migala is a depiction of the devastation caused by the breakdown of a relationship. The mundane and lonely existence is replaced by imminent death; the inner turmoil of the protagonist is depicted on screen through a single location, the apartment. In this way the symbolism brings to mind Polanski’s psychological horror Repulsion, in which the detachment of the protagonist is reflected through the paranoid isolation of their environment.

However, Dezcallar’s film is more than a simple study of a broken down psyche, the film has warmth to it, perfectly captured by the striking cinematography. Aesthetically, the autumn tones give La Migala a golden appearance, an optimistic colour palette that makes us feel that all is not lost, despite the hairy situation. The film’s humanity would not be possible if not for the highly sympathetic performance of Javier Ambrossi, who confidently carries the story’s believability. Time and space become intertwined in the same way the characters inner psychology is ejaculated into his surroundings. The film’s time structure allows for some unexpected turns that further demonstrate the strength of La Migala as a layered piece of work.

La Migala has received notable acclaim in the festival circuit, scooping up awards from the New York Film Festival, Brussels International Short Film Festival and even winning Best Short Film at the Boston Film Festival. It is easy to see why; the film itself demonstrates perfectly what a filmmaker can achieve in such a short space of time.


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