21 Nov 2023 17:30 Arts Picturehouse, 38-39 St Andrew's St, Cambridge CB2 3AR


C’è un soffio di vita soltanto / A breath of life (2022) | Directed by Matteo Botrugno and Daniele Coluccini


Orsolya Katalin Petőcz (Selwyn College, University of Cambridge)


Matteo Botrugno & Daniele Coluccini (Film Directors)

Film synopsis

Lucy is a 95-year-old woman. In her apartment, photos turned yellow with the passing of time, tell the story of the adolescence of a boy who at the time was called Luciano and who was going to live through the most terrible period of his life. Lucy is the oldest transsexual woman in Italy. She is among the few survivors of Dachau’s concentration camp.

Lucy’s story is the story of the 1900s. The events of her turbulent life have become a metaphor for a humanity that does not give up and that treasures the most important gift in history; memory, as a unique and irreplaceable starting point.

Person in a wheelchair in front of concentration camp gates

Still from C’è un soffio di vita soltanto © Blue Mirror with kind permission of Matteo Botrugno and Daniele Coluccini

Film poster for 'A breath of life'

95 Poster of A Breath of Life © Blue Mirror with kind permission of Matteo Botrugno and Daniele Coluccini

This film premiere is part of the ‘Queer testimonies from the Holocaust to 2023conference. The event brings together artists and academics with the aim of discussing queer and trans testimonies from the Holocaust to the present.

Listen to the Directors’ Q&A

If you have specific accessibility needs for this event please get in touch. We will do our best to accommodate any requests.

Supported by:

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Speaker biographies

Matteo Botrugno and Daniele Coluccini (Artists, Filmmakers)

Matteo Botrugno and Daniele Coluccini at work

Matteo Botrugno and Daniele Coluccini made their debut in 2009 with the feature film Et in terra pax (And Peace on Earth) after both graduated in Film History and Critical Studies in 2005 with a further interest in music. And Peace on Earth had its premiere in 2010 at Venice Film Festival – Venice Days and was selected in more than fifty festivals worldwide, including Tokyo International Film Festival and Moscow International Film Festival. It received a special mention at the Nastri d’Argento award (the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists award) in 2011 and was distributed in Italy to movie theaters by Cinecittà Luce and in Home Video by Cecchi Gori Distribution. Their screenplay Rite of Spring was selected in the ‘New Cinema Network’ contest, part of the Rome International Film Festival as well as film festivals in Berlin and Buenos Aires. It was selected for the Sundance Mediterranean Screenwriters Workshop 2016. In 2017 they directed IL CONTAGIO (Tainted Souls), the first Walter Siti’s book-to-film adaptation. In 2021 their third film premiered at the Torino Film Festival. C’è un soffio di vita soltanto (A Breath of Life) is the story of Lucy Salani, the oldest Italian transsexual woman among the few survivors of Dachau concentration camp. The film was released in theaters at the beginning of 2022.

Orsolya Katalin Petőcz (University of Cambridge)

Photo of Orsi Petocz

Orsolya Katalin Petőcz is a PhD student at the University of Cambridge. She explores queer testimonies across literature and the visual arts. She focuses primarily on the testimonies of survivors of World War II and studies the early texts of queer and trans theories in the context of which these testimonies emerge. Testimony and exile are returning themes of her work. Petőcz organises events in line with her research interests, amongst these is the Cambridge-based Queer Cultures Colloquium. Petőcz has published research articles in French Cultural Studies and in Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies. Petőcz is the co-editor, with Naomi Segal, of the volume Dwelling: Cultural Representations of Inhabited Spaces (under contract with Palgrave Macmillan for publication in 2024, based on the Cultural Literacy Everywhere Symposium 2022).

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