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Sacred Heart (2005)

Cuore sacro (original title)
Irene, a workaholic, is forced to re-evaluate her priorities after the suicide of her two best friends.


Ferzan Ozpetek


Ferzan Ozpetek (screenplay), Ferzan Ozpetek (story) | 2 more credits »
10 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Barbora Bobulova ... Irene
Andrea Di Stefano ... Giancarlo
Lisa Gastoni ... Eleonora
Massimo Poggio ... Padre Carras
Camille Dugay Comencini Camille Dugay Comencini ... Benny
Gigi Angelillo Gigi Angelillo ... Aurelio (as Luigi Angelillo)
Erika Blanc ... Maria Clara
Caterina Vertova ... Angela
Stefano Santospago Stefano Santospago ... Giorgio
Michela Cescon ... Anna Maria
Elisabetta Pozzi Elisabetta Pozzi ... La psichiatra
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Enrica Ajò Enrica Ajò ... Francesca
Fabrizio Apolloni
Sanghamitra Bakshi Sanghamitra Bakshi ... Maid (as Shoma)
Gianlorenzo Brambilla Gianlorenzo Brambilla ... Guido


Irene, a workaholic, is forced to re-evaluate her priorities after the suicide of her two best friends.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Your secret heart is a sacred heart.




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Did You Know?


Valeria Golino was the first choice for the role of Irene but was forced to decline due to prior commitments. See more »


Aurelio: [to Irene] Your mother always used to say that each of us has two hearts but one of them ecliPses the other. If each of us could spot, even for a brief moment, the light of his hidden heart, then we will understand that that one is a sacred heart. And we couldn't give up the warmth of its light.
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Cuore Sacro
Composed by Andrea Guerra
Orchestra: National Symphony Orchestra, Czech
Conducted by Gianfranco Plenizio
EMI Music Italy
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User Reviews

Scenes from a cathartic journey of darkness, regret and redemption
21 May 2005 | by AquilantSee all my reviews

The movie is about the emotional discovery of a phantasmatic SECOND HEART, hidden into the most secret recesses of our souls, strictly disregarded by the anatomy books. A SECRET HEART whose feeble beat cannot be heard in our chest but can be perceived thank to our passionate involvement, when we are about to perform the greatest acts of love in an emotional detachment from our disturbing human condition, making necessary and irreversible choices in such a way as to discard all prejudices and return good for evil. A SACRED HEART dozing inside everybody's body for a long time, being reawakened just at the right moment, in our case, thank to the great purity of soul of Benny, a pleasant pilferer, played by the young actress Camille Dugay Comencini, who discloses the doors of the soul's insides to an apparently heartless business woman. An INVISIBLE HEART, eager to inspire total confidence in ourselves, to suggest actions and attitudes at odds with the current state of business, to protect human beings against a risky dive into the dark way of easy profit at the cost of their peace of mind. Bound to remind us to turn our eyes and look at the suffering fellowmen with their hands vainly stretched out for aid, resigned to live at the edge of the road in a everlasting humiliating condition of life. By conventional standards it's really easy to close our eyes in the presence of the uncomfortable reality of people in distress and turn our backs to their disturbing presence capable to upset the stability of a world created by us to be like ourselves, always ready to breathe frantic winds of globalization that go on producing new waves of poor people all over the world.

The whole work is permeated by a sense of palpable need of sacrality, very uncomfortable on account of many destabilizing sequences where Ferzan Ozpeteck invites us to look away from the riches of the world and cast a glance beyond our limited horizons, towards new risky dimensions, to those outcasts of fortune claiming in a faint voice the right to live a decent life. The director goes over and over this subject again, defined by himself as a sort of "soul thriller". The human soul is showed in all its nuances by the character of Irene, the beautiful Barbara Bobulova (as a substitute for Valeria Golino, the best Italian actress together with Giovanna Mezzogiorno).

IRENE LOOKS LIKE AN ARABIAN PHOENIX risen from the ashes of her condition of lacking feeling woman, symbol of capitalistic exploitation, young restless soul in a vertical dive towards cathartic experiences, unceasingly followed by the camera in many stunning sequences. WOOED by the mechanic eye like a delicious lover truly deserving all possible attentions lavished on her. FONDLED and PETTED incessantly, thank to extended and inquisitive close-ups, in her pauses for reflection, in her moments of silence, in her excitements and internal tensions, with her stare of astonishment suspended in the void of an hypothetical space and her nude and defenseless face vowed to silence. Faithfully FOLLOWED in her wanderings with soft long takes in a sinuous circular movement of the camera, as a sacrificial victim at the mercy of the onlookers' eyes. CELEBRATED by an amazing soundtrack in a successful attempt at carrying into effect her way of redemption. IMMORTALIZED as a living symbol of Michelangelo's Pieta, extreme evidence of the folly of self-giving love, of the solidarity heralding her thirst for justice to the whole world, rebelling against every prevailing logic imbued with the worship of wealth. SUPPORTED by documentary evidence in her fits of giddiness thank to hyper-kinetics movements of camera in a cold, alienating swimming pool. Impiteously VIOLATED in her privacy and handed over to the media's morbid curiosity in her cathartic moments of physical and moral denouement, extreme final act of gift of herself and her belongings, with the chaste nakedness of her spotless bosom revealed and offered for all the hurried passers-by to see, as a token of her salvific spirit of sacrifice and of her sense of self-denial towards a world pervaded with deep sorrow and suffering.

Scenes from a cathartic journey of darkness, regret and redemption orchestrated by another side of Ozpetek: the director sets aside his particular concept of "family" to devote himself to a moving project, to something that strikes us with a deep-rooted feeling and infuses courage into our hearts inspiring hope in our spirits. To something new that makes up our minds to cast a new glance at the life through Irene's sea blue eyes, towards more winding directions, inviting us to cast reflections on ourselves.

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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

25 February 2005 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Sacred Heart See more »

Filming Locations:

Naples, Campania, Italy See more »


Box Office


EUR6,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

R&C Produzioni See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital


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