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La sconosciuta
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The Unknown Woman (2006) More at IMDbPro »La sconosciuta (original title)

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Up 52% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Giuseppe Tornatore (story)
Massimo De Rita (screenplay)
View company contact information for The Unknown Woman on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 October 2006 (Italy) See more »
Haunted by a horrible past, a Ukrainian young woman calculatedly insinuates herself into the life of a rich Italian family. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
19 wins & 20 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Film making in its best for the viewers who are willing to be scarred by a story See more (36 total) »


  (in credits order)

Kseniya Rappoport ... Irena (as Ksenia Rappoport)

Michele Placido ... Muffa

Claudia Gerini ... Valeria Adacher

Piera Degli Esposti ... Gina
Alessandro Haber ... Matteo
Clara Dossena ... Tea Adacher

Ángela Molina ... Lucrezia (as Angela Molina)

Margherita Buy ... Irena's lawyer

Pierfrancesco Favino ... Donato Adacher

Nicola Di Pinto ... Irena's lover
Paolo Elmo ... Nello
Simona Nobili ... Policewoman
Elisa Morucci ... Waitress

Giulia Di Quilio ... Secretary

Pino Calabrese ... Magistrate

Gisella Marengo ... Policewoman
Gabriella Barbuti ... Nurse
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dante Alfonso Spadini ... Factory manager (uncredited)

Directed by
Giuseppe Tornatore 
Writing credits
Giuseppe Tornatore (story and screenplay)

Massimo De Rita (screenplay collaborator)

Produced by
Laura Fattori .... executive producer
Original Music by
Ennio Morricone 
Cinematography by
Fabio Zamarion 
Film Editing by
Massimo Quaglia 
Production Design by
Tonino Zera 
Set Decoration by
Gaia Zambelli 
Costume Design by
Nicoletta Ercole 
Makeup Department
Federico Laurenti .... key makeup artist
Luigi Rocchetti .... special makeup effects artist
Rodolfo Sifari .... hair stylist
Production Management
Remo Chiappa .... production manager
Gianluca Passone .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Alberto Mangiante .... first assistant director
Barbara Pastrovich .... second assistant director
Art Department
Anna Acciarino .... assistant set decorator
Lucia Barbato .... assistant production designer
Lucia Barbato .... unit production designer
Inko Brus .... props
Giancarlo Carbonaro .... props
Stefano Carbonaro .... assistant propman
Basolà De Leitenburg .... paintings
Riccardo Furlani .... props
Li Mhooi Hwa .... paintings
Monica Kirchmayr .... paintings
Roberto Magagnini .... property master
Elisa Morucci .... paintings
Cristiano Pintaldi .... paintings
Claudio Stefani .... props
Donato Tieppo .... assistant production designer
Sound Department
Paolo Amici .... sound effects
Italo Cameracanna .... sound effects
Enzo Diliberto .... foley artist
Massimo Marinelli .... sound effects
Vieri Martelli .... sound re-recordist
Gilberto Martinelli .... sound
Davide Palmiotto .... assistant sound engineer
Alfredo Petti .... boom operator
Daniele Quadroli .... sound effects
Angelo Raguseo .... sound re-recording mixer
Francesco Vallocchia .... dialogue editor
Fabio Venturi .... sound engineer
Davide Palmiotto .... pro tools operator (uncredited)
David Quadroli .... sound effects editor (uncredited)
Fabrizio Quadroli .... sound effects editor (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Claudio Quaglietti .... special effects coordinator
Visual Effects by
Giulia Infurna .... digital compositor
Andrea Baracca .... digital color timing (uncredited)
Michele Benigna .... digital compositor (uncredited)
Andrea Cavallini .... scanning & recording operator (uncredited)
Emanuele Comotti .... digital compositor (uncredited)
Fathima Feminò .... roto artist (uncredited)
Dionisio Greco .... i/o supervisor (uncredited)
Fabio Luongo .... digital compositor: Proxima (uncredited)
Maura Manfredi .... roto artist (uncredited)
Lorenzo Moneta .... matte painter: Proxima (uncredited)
Pascal Morra .... render technical director (uncredited)
Claudio Napoli .... visual effects coordinator (uncredited)
Emanuele Pescatori .... cg artist (uncredited)
Corrado Rizzo .... visual effects (uncredited)
Gian Luca Rizzo .... visual effects producer (uncredited)
Marco Ruggieri .... scanning & recording manager (uncredited)
Kristina Russo .... cg artist (uncredited)
Francesco Spadoni .... digital restoration (uncredited)
Flaminia Speziale .... digital effects artist (uncredited)
Giuseppe Squillaci .... visual effects supervisor: Proxima (uncredited)
Matteo Stirati .... cg artist (uncredited)
David Ambrosi .... stunt driver (uncredited)
Jacqueline Freda .... stunt double: Piera Degli Esposti (uncredited)
Riccardo Mioni .... stunts (uncredited)
Stefano Maria Mioni .... stunt coordinator (uncredited)
Alessandro Novelli .... stunts (uncredited)
Emiliano Novelli .... stunts (uncredited)
Franco Maria Salamon .... stunt supervisor (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Bruno Anghelone .... grip
Maurizio Broglio .... electrician
Alessandro Colini .... grip
Simona De Lullo .... second assistant camera
Claudio Frollano .... chief electrician
Giovanni Gebbia .... Steadicam operator
Simone Lucchetti .... electrician
Roberto Luzi .... camera operator
Marco Santarelli .... key grip
Stefano Santini .... lighting technician
Marta Spedaletti .... still photographer
Enrico Stella .... grip
Giovanni Tancredi .... electrician
Riccardo Umetelli .... first assistant camera
Renato Zamarion .... electrician
Franco Biciocchi .... still photographer (uncredited)
Giancarlo Checchi .... electrician (uncredited)
Francisco Pintore .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Emilio Quinzi .... grip (uncredited)
Wojtek Trovato .... electrician (uncredited)
Casting Department
Katia Berrettini .... extra coordinator
Maria Novella Ercelli .... extra coordinator
Antonio Spoletini .... extra coordinator
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Angela Anzimani .... sewer
Pamela Fontinovo .... assistant costume designer
Margherita Meddi .... assistant costume designer
Editorial Department
Andrea Baracca .... colorist
Enrico Barone .... post-production coordinator
Pasquale Cuzzupoli .... color timer
Christian Gazzi .... telecine: rushes (as Cristian Gazzi)
Stefano Giovannini .... laboratory coordinator
Alessandro Quaglia .... assistant editor
Pamela Quaglia .... assistant editor
Galliano Scaramella .... negative cutter
Music Department
Fausto Anzelmo .... soloist: viola
Nanni Civitenga .... musician: electric/double bass
Enrico DeMelis .... music coordinator (as Enrico De Melis)
Franco Ferrante .... soloist: clarinet
Ennio Morricone .... conductor
Ennio Morricone .... orchestrator
Rocco Petruzzi .... musician: techno music
Luca Pincini .... cello soloist
Vincenzo Restuccia .... musician: percussion
Marco Rogliano .... violin soloist
Marco Serino .... violin soloist
Rocco Zifarelli .... electric guitar
Transportation Department
Alfredo Iannone .... driver
Other crew
Elena Bindi .... continuity
Sabrina Censki .... location manager: Trieste
Mara Cereda .... production coordinator
Simone Cialoni .... production secretary
Stefano Cialoni .... production delegate
Stefano Deni .... unit manager
Maria Vittoria Filippone .... accountant
Mario Francini .... unit manager
Silvia Menozzi .... assistant dubbing director
Pierluigi Neri .... location manager: Terni
Emanuela Rossi .... dubbing director
Michela Spaccini .... assistant location manager: Trieste
Emanuela Valente .... accountant
Caterina Mongiò .... backstage director (uncredited)
Nata More .... interpreter: Kseniya Rappoport (uncredited)
Mario Segatore .... thanks
Grazia Volo .... thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"La sconosciuta" - Italy (original title)
See more »
Rated R for some disturbing violent content involving rape and torture, graphic nudity, sexuality and language
118 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Italy's Official Submission to the Best Foreign Language Film Category of 'The 80th Annual Academy Awards (2008) (TV)'.See more »
Movie Connections:
References Oliver Twist (2005)See more »
Ninna nannaSee more »


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31 out of 42 people found the following review useful.
Film making in its best for the viewers who are willing to be scarred by a story, 13 July 2008
Author: eyal philippsborn ( from jerusalem, israel

I need to clarify one thing before I begin this review. I am a man. I enjoy watching muscle cars hurdle through a race track, I could watch Die hard 2 any day of the week and I never had the urge to watch Desperate housewives/Sex and the city or anything else that might give me an insight to the opposite gender (assuming those shows do that). I am not writing this as an apology on behalf of my gender but because the female psyche is a realm that I have yet to fathom and this film not only exposes the abyss of the women's trade atrocities but also to the uncharted territory of one woman's quest for happiness.

That particular woman is Irena (Xenia Rappoport- her performance is beyond describable), Irena is an Italian speaking, Russian-descent woman in her 30's that starts to work as a maid in an affluent house of well to do parents and their little girl. At first, her "curiosity" for her employers' belongings (and since they are in the Diamond business, belongings they have in abundance) leaves the viewer to assume that Irena is a skilled thief that believes in the broader definition of the term "Cleaning". Clearly, the truth is much more complicated.

It is also clear that the past of Irena is riddled with humiliation, violence and degradation committed on her by, well, the lesser people of my specimen but most of all she is haunted not only by what she had to endure but by what she had and lost and more importantly, what she never got the chance to have. I am deliberately enigmatic because the film is too. The peeling of Irena's past is is gradual and seemingly sporadic and her past is gut wrenching and scarring.

While the viewers are getting clearer glimpses of that past, Irena, knowing that the skeletons in her closet are vivid and always present, forms a bond with her employers' daughter, a young and fragile kid that Irena seems determined, far too determined to a stranger's eye, to instill the street-toughness that Irena had to acquire in ways that are anything but pleasant.

The fictitious story of Irena (which is all too real to too many women) could have been a display of sensationalist voyeurism, a self righteous lecture of the trivial and obvious (and let's face it, I didn't need to see the film to find the notion of women trading despicable) or a mere excuse to show a morbid film under a politically correct subject.

This film doesn't have a shred of the above characteristics. The director enhances the horror atmosphere by the chilling musical score, the absolutely flawless acting and script and primarily, by exposing a woman's quest for happiness amidst the live that leaves very little chance of attaining it.

I am usually highly reluctant to discover major plot advancement in movies (even movies I don't recommend to watch) but this film excavates the problem because the deciphering the enigmatic story of Irena is so engrossing and the most valuable asset of the film that disclosing even the smallest of details might weaken the movie's effect. This movie is worth seeing with a companion so you can discuss its qualities and ponder of the true nature of the movie's end (and I used the word "Enigmatic" in this review far too many times already).

There are a couple of matters that I do prefer to clarify:

The movie is the reason why people make movies and why people like yours truly enjoy movies so much. Not only there aren't any noticeable flaws in the film, there are also no redundant scenes, tedious dialog lines that could be discarded or disturbing views that can be eliminated without heavily impairing the overall impression of the film.

The disturbing views are usually implied and the ones that are clear appear for a fraction of a second but leaves a far longer impression. Those of you who envision this film as a myriad of scenes of red wine and Lake Maggiore passing through the window of a fiat 500 are in for a major disappointment.

The rest, though, will experience the true effect of a flawless film that leaves an impression that exceeds the limitations of my penmanship.

10 out of 10 in My FilmOmeter

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
The money in the ceiling rbod
If Tea was not Irina's daughter...(SPOILER ALERT!!) t_oskay
I have a couple of questions... jacobrusso
What did Irena made her sign? egran_petrosian
how popular in Italy? John_is_john
Italian screenplay amica_bambina
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