The Unknown Woman (La sconosciuta)
Release Year: 2006
Director: Giuseppe Tornatore
Writers: Giuseppe Tornatore (screenplay & story), Massimo De Rita (Screenplay collaborator)
Starring: Kseniya Rappoport, Michele Placido, Claudia Gerini,
A Ukranian woman (Kseniya Rappoport) haunted by her violent past pushes her way into the life of a wealthy Italian family with a daughter who suffer from a rare condition.
This stylish and atmospheric thriller is a study in the continuing affects of degenerating sexual assault and violence on a young woman’s mind. Although she has freed herself (how we see far into the movie), or at least believes she has, past events are never far from her mind. Although, the world she has escape from a frightening (and, sadly, a realistic one) it is perhaps more frightening what it leads her to do. Rappoport (La doppia ora, 2009) is very good, and particularly her interplay with the young girl is captivating. Written and produced by Giuseppe Tornatore, who rose to fame with Cinema Paradiso (1988), credentials are in order, and the film runs smoothly despite a fragmented narrative. A hard film to watch, but a good choice for fans of slow-burning thrillers.
Russian actress Kseniya Rappoport didn’t speak Italian when she was cast in the leading role. She gradually learned the language in the few months of shooting.
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