San Vittore

  • Yuri Ancarani
  • Italy, Switzerland
  • 2018
  • 12 min
  • Dutch Premiere
  • Paradocs

Every time children visit their parents at the San Vittore prison in Milan, Italy, they’re subjected to a thorough security check. They have to turn in their bags, have their shoes and dolls checked, and go through a metal detector. Then a guard leads them by the hand along the long, bare corridors to the visiting room.

The children make drawings at a workshop run by the nonprofit organization Associazione Bambinisenzasbarre Onlus. There are drawings of prison bars and a bloodied doll, with poignant words such as “I have too much responsibility,” and “I feel alone, defenseless.” The youngest children see the the ornately geometric prison as a castle.

The power of this visually striking short film lies in the simplicity of the approach, with many close-ups and distinctive framing and sound design. Words are unnecessary—the sound of a slamming door speaks volumes. This is visual artist Yuri Ancarani’s journey into the minds of children navigating the prison regime and the subtle aggression of security checks.


  • 12 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Subtitles in: Not applicable
Yuri Ancarani
Yuri Ancarani for Studio Ancarani
Executive producer
Marco Alessi
Kunsthalle Basel, Castello di Rivoli
Yuri Ancarani

IDFA history

Dutch Premiere

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IDFA history

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