The Stolen Caravaggio

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The Stolen Caravaggio (Una storia senza nome)

The Stolen Caravaggio (Una storia senza nome)

The Stolen Caravaggio (Una storia senza nome)

original title:

Una storia senza nome

directed by:


costume design:


BiBi Film, Agat Films & Cie, Rai Cinema, supported by Ministero della Cultura, with the support of Regione Lazio

world sales:





film run:




release date:


Valeria, the young secretary of a film producer, lives a secluded life, on the same landing of an apartment block as her mother, and pens anonymous scripts for a successful screenwriter, Alessandro Pes. One day the woman is approached by a mysterious retired policeman who wants to tell her the story of a crime. Valeria is wary but captivated by his words. When she goes home she uses what she has heard to write a scenario which the producers have been waiting for anxiously: it will be Alessandro Pes’s next screenplay. The scenario goes down very well, to the point where foreign groups show an interest in financing the film and a rather elderly but revered American director is hired to make it. But that plot turns out to be a dangerous one: the Storia senza nome, or “Story without a Name”, is in fact about the mysterious theft of a famous picture by Caravaggio, The Nativity, carried out in Palermo in 1969 by the Mafia. It doesn’t take long for the consequences to surface and Valeria will find herself taking on what is an unusual role for her.

This is a film about the cinema, an ironic and paradoxical act of faith in its capacities to investigate reality and transcend it. It has always been argued that even the most powerful and visionary of imaginations has to pay the price of an a priori impotence: the impossibility of provoking real effects. My film, in a playful, and I hope entertaining, manner, demonstrates the opposite.
Angelo Pasquini, Giacomo Bendotti and I chose a legendary episode from the annals of Italian crime, the theft of Caravaggio’s Nativity in Palermo in 1969. The history of our country is strewn with unsolved crimes, incomplete fragments of which only an act of the imagination is able to make sense. This film is just such an act of the imagination.