Suburbs of Milan. A group of forensic scientists gather evidence around a dead body. Nobody knows its identity. The corpse is sent to the mortuary of the city and becomes one of hundreds of unidentified bodies, the so-called Pure Unknown. They often are people who belong to the peripheral fringes of society. Institutions, organs of power, media, none of these are willing to invest money and time to give back to them their identities. The lack of dignity and respect that affects the Pure Unknown obsesses Doctor Cristina Cattaneo, forensic anthropologist. But her most difficult battle might not be to call a Pure Unknown by its name and give it back to its family, but rather to convince European institutions that it’s our responsibility as a society to do so.

If the theme we decide to explore is therefore that of identity, the story we tell is that of a woman, Cristina Cattaneo, and of the battle she finds herself fighting every day to ensure that the "nameless" are not lost, nor forgotten. It is she who is the protagonist of the film, it is she whom we follow closely and accompany with our camera among the remains of saints, autopsies of strangers, DNA examinations, exhumations and meetings with the Labanof team. It is she whom we accompany, step by step, in the attempt to shake the conscience of the European institutions, until her hearing in the European Parliament.

Valentina Cicogna, Mattia Colombo
Valentina Cicogna, Mattia Colombo
Valentina Cicogna, Mattia Colombo
Director of photography
Jacopo Loiodice
Film Editor
Valentina Cicogna
Original Music
Zeno Gabaglio
Simone Paolo Olivero, Paolo Benvenuti; Philippe Gozlan (Sound Design)
Cast and characters

Cristina Cattaneo

Executive production
Chiara Nicoletti
Sebastiano Luca Insinga
Jump Cut
con il sostegno di Film Commission Torino Piemonte - Piemonte Doc Film Fund - sviluppo dicembre 2019, produzione giugno 2022
Last update: 27 July 2023