In 2024 it’ll be 120 years from the first White Train departing from Sicily and headed to Lourdes, one of the most important places of Marian apparitions in Catholic world. Fifty hours journey of a train that still crosses the country “loading” sick people and pilgrims full of hope and pain. Maybe it was once the cheapest or the only way, but now is different: who decides to embark on this odissey is probably doing it for different reasons, looking for a different time. But why people still choose to follow this via crucis on tracks? We’ll look for answers thanks to the stories of the train passengers. Taking advantage of the pilgrimage, our film will also be a journey through Italy, a tracking shot of faces, dialects and landscapes united by one desire: to reach the promised land and to meet The Holy Mother.

Pain has never been a simple matter. It is agreed that myth, togheter with some philosophy and religion, are born to answer to this question: why do we suffer? The Catholic matrix of this journey - it is organized by Unitalsi, a social and religious association - reminds us how pain and sufference are essential steps of a path of purification and approach to God.

While some philosophical currents see pain as something that breaks the harmonious order of existence, Christianity carried out a total paradigma shift. The model now is the suffering Christ and his passion plays a salvific role. Problem then is no longer to get rid of pain, but to accept it as an instrument of redemption. Travelling by train could be red maybe under this light: the White Train represents the means that allows pilgrims to be purified through the sacrifice of the journey and before kneeling in front of the Virgin Mary of Lourdes.

Valerio Filardo
Valerio Filardo
Valerio Filardo, Fabio Bonfanti
Director of photography
Original Music
Luca Macaluso
Altri credits

Daniele Gaglianone (Supervisione artistica)

Cast and characters

Domenico Modafferi

Organizzatore generale
Gabriella Manfrè
Mattia Puleo, Gabriella Manfrè
con il sostegno di Film Commission Torino Piemonte - Piemonte Doc Film Fund - sviluppo giugno 2023
Last update: 30 August 2023