The act of burial is a primal human ritual that delimits life from death. But what happens to the corpses of anonymous people? Every night, nameless bodies arrive in an autopsy room in Milan. They are called the “Pure Unknown”. The Pure Unknown belong to the margins of society; they might be homeless, sex workers, or runaway teenagers. Lately, they have mostly been migrants, thrown up by the Mediterranean Sea onto the shores of Italy. Having been denied the possibility of a better life, no one now seems to care about their right to a dignified death. No one, apart from Dr. Cristina Cattaneo, who operates the first forensic anthropology laboratory in Italy, has been bravely and determinedly fighting for their cause, working night and day to give names to these unidentified bodies. Pure Unknown follows this daring and captivating character in her ceaseless struggle, inviting us to reflect on this pressing human rights issue.
Supported by Italian Cultural Institute