Archive of films Spira Mirabilis / Spira mirabilis

Italy / Switzerland
2016, 121 min

Section: Imagina
Year: 2017

A Japanese scientist studies the miniature and immortal Benjamin Button jellyfish. At the other end of the world, unceasing repairs are carried out on the Milan Duomo. In the United States a Lakota community fights to preserve its culture. In a captivating visual essay composed of fragments shot across the world, the creators contemplate the nature of immortality.


This original work from writer-director duo Massimo D’Anolfi and Martina Parenti is a self-conscious reflection pregnant with musings on the nature of humanity, our natural limitations, and the all-consuming urge to go beyond the cycle of human life. The title Spira Mirabilis refers to Descartes’ logarithmic spiral – whose form remains unchanged regardless of its size – and the phrase has become an artistic metaphor for humankind’s greatest challenge: overcoming mortality. In a captivating visual essay composed of fragments shot across the world, the moviemakers visit a vanishing Lakota community, who must protect their identity from the expansion of the modern world; a musical instrument factory whose workers continue the never-ending pursuit of perfect sound; the Milan Duomo, where construction work extends beyond the individual lives of its various architects; and a Japanese scientist who studies the miniature and immortal Benjamin Button jellyfish.

Hubert Poul

About the director

Massimo D'Anolfi, Martina Parenti

Massimo D’Anolfi (b. 1974, Pescara, Italy) is a videographer, assistant director, and scenographer. Martina Parenti (b. 1972, Milan) has worked in TV and cinema as a director of many documentaries. Together they founded Montmorency Film which has stood behind the creation of numerous highly praised documentaries. The Betrothed (2007) takes up the institution of marriage in Italy, while Great Expectations (2009) looks into the nature of Italian entrepreneurship. The Castle (2011) follows daily operations at Milan’s Malpensa airport over the course of the year, and Dark Matter (2013) investigates a military-industrial complex. Their previous documentary The Never-Ending Factory of the Duomo (2015) focuses on the unceasing construction of Milan Cathedral. Spira Mirabilis (2016) competed for the Golden Lion at Venice.


The Match Factory
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E-mail: [email protected]

About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Imagina
Director: Massimo D'Anolfi, Martina Parenti
Screenplay: Massimo D'Anolfi, Martina Parenti
Dir. of Photography: Massimo D’Anolfi
Music: Massimo Mariani
Editor: Massimo D’Anolfi, Martina Parenti
Producer: Massimo D’Anolfi, Martina Parenti, Louis Mataré, David Fonjallaz
Production: Montmorency Film
Coproduction: Lomotion Filmproduktion
Cast: Marina Vlady, Shin Kubota, Felix Rohner, Sabina Schärer
Sales: The Match Factory

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