Klaus is a former Nazi doctor who conducted fatal experiments on young boys during the war. After escaping to Spain, he continued to perpetrate his atrocious crimes. But a failed suicide attempt left him paralysed and confined to an iron lung inside a mansion which he shares with his wife Griselda and their daughter. One day, a mysterious young man Angelo appears at their door to offer his services as a nurse.

Agustí Villaronga’s astonishing directorial debut is a dark and disturbing descent into the horrors and parallels of fascism, forbidden sexual fantasy and sexual violence.

“It is unique – Tras el cristal obsessively charts a taboo considered by many to be just too offensive to serve as subject matter for a film. As if this were not enough, the story also examines the fetishistic allure of the Nazi period. The result is a perilous knot of desire and hate, explored with a dexterity which, in a couple of instances, skates to the edge of the pornographic – without losing sight of the dangers and responsibilities inherent in such extreme material. /…/ Tras el cristal deserves serious consideration as a film which explores a very difficult subject indeed, and succeeds in remaining within the bounds of responsible intelligence. Far from a cheap thrill for the sick and perverted, it surely joins Pasolini’s Salò as a work of dark, troubling brilliance.”
– Stephen Thrower, Eyeball

In a Glass Cage explores the dialectic relationship between executioner and victim in an ambivalent tale of lust, death and transcendence. /…/ It is inspired by Georges Bataille’s account of the historical child murderer Gilles de Rais, along with the writings of Marquis de Sade, blended with a totalitarian vision that links the film to Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Fascism parable, Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom.”
– Marcus Stiglegger, 100 European Horror Films

“Agustí Villaronga is another resistance-based filmmaker. His In a Glass Cage is both a morbid fable about the corruption of innocence and an allegory about Nazi atrocities, as well as an exemplary exercise in transgression.”
– Manuel Yáñez-Murillo, Film Comment

“A master filmmaker! A bizarre, haunting and violently disturbing film!”
– Judy Stone, The San Francisco Chronicle

“A nightmarish masterpiece! The most impressive directorial debut of the decade!”
– Elliot Stein, The Village Voice



Spain, 1986, 35mm, 1.85, colour, 107’, English subtitles

directed by Agustí Villaronga
written by Agustí Villaronga
cinematography Jaume Peracaula
editing Raúl Román
music Javier Navarrete
cast Günter Meisner, Marisa Paredes, David Sust, Gisèle Echevarría
produced by Teresa Enrich