News Pure Unknown deals with the topic of unidentified victims of the migration crisis

Published: July 02, 2023| 11:29 AM

Do unidentified deceased persons have human rights? The documentary Pure Unknown presented at the Congress Hall explores this topic with remarkable sympathy. Saša Michailidis presented the portrait of the tenacious forensic pathologist and anthropologist Cristina Cattaneo to the audience in Karlovy Vary: “The central theme of the film is not a simple one. However, it is more than relevant today, especially after the recent sinking of a boat carrying 700 migrants in Greek waters.”

The protagonist of Pure Unknown devotes her professional life to identifying the dead bodies, in which the Italian authorities show no interest. These are marginalised people and, not infrequently, migrants who drown in the Mediterranean. Cattaneo struggles with a lack of funding, but also more simply with lack of human interest. ​

Valentina Cicogna, the first from the director duo, described some moments from more than two years of filming of this documentary. “I lost my mother while shooting my first feature film. During my research for this film, I realised that having information of her death was actually a privilege,” she told the audience. She was joined by her co-director Mattia Colombo: “We found out that the loved ones of the unknown deceased do not have this privilege. Moreover, people see the victims of the migration crisis as just numbers in statistics rather than through their personal stories.” The debate was concluded by cinematographer Jacopo Loiodice: “We still fail to see migration as a global problem.”


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