Mattia Colombo & Valentina Cicogna
Italy, Switzerland, Sweden | 2023 | 93 min
Languages : Italian, English
Subtitles : French, English
The act of burial is a primal human ritual that delimits life from death. But what happens to the corpses of migrant persons drowned at sea, those “pure unknown” who have been denied the possibility of a better life? No one now seems to care about their right to a dignified death. No one except Dr. Cristina Cattaneo, who is bravely and determinedly fighting for their cause.
The act of burial is a primal human ritual that delimits life from death. But what happens to the corpses of anonymous people? Every night, nameless bodies arrive in an autopsy room in Milan. They are called the “Pure Unknown”. The Pure Unknown belong to the margins of society; they might be homeless, sex workers or runaway teenagers. Lately, they have mostly been migrants, thrown up by the Mediterranean Sea onto the shores of Italy. Having been denied the possibility of a better life, no one now seems to care about their right to a dignified death. No one except Dr. Cristina Cattaneo who, from the first forensic anthropology laboratory in Italy, has been bravely and determinedly fighting for their cause, working night and day to return names to these unidentified bodies and human remains. Filmmakers Valentina Cicogna and Mattia Colombo closely follow this daring and captivating character in her ceaseless struggle, inviting us to reflect on a number of urgent questions about migration to which Europe, tragically, seems unable to respond.
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