Back to top
Special Presentation
Caravaggio's Shadow
Australian Premiere

Caravaggio's Shadow

L'ombra di Caravaggio

Riccardo Scamarcio (The Shadow of the Day IFF22, Three Floors IFF21 ), Isabelle Huppert and Louis Garrel star in writer/director Michele Placido’s (Crime Novel) fourteenth feature, an eagerly anticipated new historical drama depicting the struggles of the notorious Renaissance painter as he’s investigated by the Vatican. 

Italy 1610. Michelangelo Merisi (Scamarcio), better known as Caravaggio, is one of the brilliant painters of his time and a rebel who ignores Catholic Church rulings that dictate how religious subjects are to be represented. Having been informed that he depicts prostitutes, thieves and vagabonds in his work, Pope Paul V orders the Vatican secret service to investigate. They must decide whether to grant clemency to Caravaggio who has petitioned his death sentence for the murder of a love rival. 

While Caravaggio seeks refuge in Naples under the protection of the powerful Marquise Costanza Colonna (Huppert), the investigator (Garrel), known as The Shadow, begins the inquiry that will lead him to discover the conflicting vices and virtues of the artist whose life, or death, lies in his hands.

This visceral epic glows like one of the painter’s original masterpieces.
2022 | 118 min | Crime, Drama, Romance | Italy, France
Cast: Riccardo Scamarcio, Isabelle Huppert, Louis Garrel, Micaela Ramazzotti, Vinicio Marchioni
Language: Italian and French with English subtitles
Michele Placido


Born in 1946, Puglia, Michele Placido is an actor, director and screenwriter. Beginning his career on the stage and screen, he has appeared in over 90 theatrical features and television films. Known for the award-winning Crime Novel (2005) and Ordinary Hero (1995), in 2021 Placido was appointed President of the Teatro Comunale in Ferrara.

incl. David of the Youth, David di Donatello Awards 2023
Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Special Nastro (Michele Placido), Nastri D’Argento Awards 2023