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The 2001 Restoration of Cainà (1922)

On 15 October 2001, the Teatro della Fortuna presented a premiere screening of Cainà (1922) as part of the Fano Film Festival in Fano, Italy. Considered lost for years, the film was recovered in Prague in 1992 in a film positive print with Czech intertitles. The restoration of the film, supervised by the Cineteca di Bologna, included restoration of the Italian intertitles. The Fano Film Festival presentation featured a specially commissioned original music score by Mario Mariani.

A young, strong-willed girl called Cainà, tired of the small village life and its narrow-minded mentality, decides to leave the island and secretly boards a ship directed to Italy (or ‘the continent,’ as people from Sardinia commonly call it) and hides in the hold. Her escape unfortunately ends soon, when the captain finds her. Meanwhile Cainà’s father, in an attempt to find his escaping daughter, will find his death in a storm. Once on the mainland, Cainà is offered accommodation at the captain’s house and soon will have to face the sad reality: she is a young woman on the run and as such she is not accepted by the captain’s family, she is obstracised and finally driven to leave. Returning to Sardinia, Cainà discovers that her attempt to improve her life has only won her the anger and resentment of the ‘betrayed’ village; finally she will be murdered by her lover, Agostineddu, driven insane by her absence. The movie closes with Cainà’s body on the rocks, washed by the waves, the same sea which once represented her pathway to ‘real’ life.

The Italian feature film was directed by Gennaro Righelli, and certainly represents a milestone in the Italian film industry as it was the first movie ever shot in Sardinia. — Information and synopsis supplied by Mario Mariani
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