Caina (first feature)

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original title:


directed by:



Stefano Amatucci, Davide Morganti

costume design:


Vito Ranucci





film run:




release date:


festivals & awards:

  • Italian Film Festival Cardiff 2018
  • International Film Festival of Uruguay 2017: Competencia Nuevos Realizadores
  • Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival 2016: First Features Competition
  • Rec Tarragona Internacional Film Festival 2016
  • Off the Wall Expanded 2016-2017: Across the Line
  • Clam International Film Festival 2017
  • FEST – New Directors 2017
  • Ischia film festival 2017: Competition - Best Cinematography
  • Paris Lift-off Global Network 2017 – In Competition- Best Film
  • Sidney Lift-off Global Network 2017 - In Competition

Caina passes her nights on a beach where she practices the rather particular profession of body hunter. Her job entails recuperating the corpses of drowned foreigners that the sea spits onto the shore. The stranded bodies are then dissolved into cement in a state run disposal facility. Caina earns 15 euros for each drowned cadaver. She can hear the dead speak, express fear and cry. Caina was a hired killer in the past, a cold hearted, contemptuous killer who specialized in immigrants. Her xenophobic soul is violent and in possession of a visceral hatred for anything foreign to her race, her skin color and especially her religion. Caina is the embodiment of the stereotypical fears of those who view Islam harshly.
Caina is a sort of high priestess of death spreading her gospel to suspended cadavers, and who sometimes respond and occasionally appear as ghosts who she humanizes only because they no longer hold the status of human being. Nahiri, a Tunisian, is also a body hunter, though an illegal one. He works with a group of other illegal immigrants as they troll the shoreline stealing the cadavers of drowned immigrants. They then sell the bodies under the table to the State Disposal Facility with the cooperation of Signora Ziviello, the elderly plant manager who has dealings with the underworld. Signora Ziviello is a sort of female Eichmann, though she is worse. She is a woman who renders horrors, the incredible and the desperation of those who die into the ordinary.
The merchandise is difficult to recuperate, so the illegal hunters decide to drown those who arrive alive. Nahiri doesn't accept this and moves on from the group. He offers his services to Caina, submitting to her behavior. Together, they establish the classic victim/ executioner relationship as they scrutinize each other, sniffing suspiciously like beasts.