La sconosciuta

Italy, France


In a sprawling Italian city, "the unknown" is the woman Irena. She had fled the Ukraine to Italy many years before, and today lives only amidst the ghosts of the past and a search for the present: two planes that interweave and superimpose to form an intriguing puzzle and high-tension mystery... After a cruel and dramatic voyage from Eastern Europe, Irena easily fell prey to a circle of ruthless, unscrupulous men. She was subjected to unspeakable brutalities and humiliations, those that permanently shock memory and can never be put to rest. Only one beautiful recollection, a melancholic, heartrending lost love. Today, though Irena appears wan and silent, she still exerts a strange fascination. She solicits the help of the doorman of an apartment building across from her own. She seems driven by some secret very specific motive. The man helps her get a cleaning job there, and from her window she spies intently upon one of the apartments in that building. Irena's true aim is to get close to a family there. Nothing will stop her. Not even murder. The "unknown woman" begins to execute her plan as she relentlessly infiltrates the family. Her delicate equilibrium as a trusted companion to their little girl, however, is short-lived. Tormented by nightmares and visions, a terrifying figure from the past also tracks Irena down in her new city. As her secret is slowly revealed, the story reels to a climax as absorbing and disturbing as "The Unknown " woman herself.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Giuseppe Tornatore

Written by: Giuseppe Tornatore

Cinematography: Fabio Zamarion

Cast: Ksenia Rappoport (Irena), Michèle Placido (Muffa), Claudia Gerini (Valeria)

Nominations and Awards

  • People's Choice Award 2007
  • European Director 2007
  • European Actress 2007
  • European Cinematographer – Prix Carlo Di Palma 2007
  • Feature Film Selection 2007