Vittorio suddenly appeared in Giada’s inn in Tribiano. He appears aged, a thin and emaciated body, an absent expression. Giada and Nives listen to him as he talks about being abandoned by Angela, his wife. Giada and Nives both have a good reason to hate him. Running away with Angela, Vittorio had repudiated Giada, his first girlfriend and at the same time he had stolen from Nives the only woman with whom that shy and grumpy man had ever really been in love.
The meeting with Vittorio soon reawakened the old passion in Giada. Walking through the countryside, hand in hand, in love again, the two meet a mysterious woman, intent on praying in front of a small cross, known in the village as “the woman who prays” because she usually spends her nights in that place.
Don Paolo, the old parish priest of the village, shows Vittorio the register of the deceased kept in the parish, a long line of individuals exterminated by a terrible disease, capable of causing first the loss of memory and then madness and finally death. It tells of Angela, who returned to the village immediately after having fled from Vittorio, because she was expecting a child. She confesses the terrible revenge that Nives is about to consume against Vittorio, by marrying Giada.
The “praying woman” accompanies Vittorio to the old village cemetery.
Here, among abandoned tombs and looming vegetation, he tells of a secret that has its roots in the last century, when very few families lived in the village and Tribiano was destined to disappear. To avert this end, the men of the town, now all buried in the old cemetery, committed an unspeakable sin. They decided to make a blasphemous pact to succeed, by any means, sacrificing any kind of morality, to repopulate the country. Only thanks to this crazy decision, Tribiano can still exist today.
It’s night. Vittorio stands in front of the cross where the “praying woman” usually kneels. A name is written on it. Luca. The name with which he and Angela would have liked to call their first child.
Only in the morning does Vittorio return to the inn where, together with him, Giada had taken refuge to escape her imminent marriage to Nives. But Jade has disappeared. The television, which remained strangely on, broadcasts in the background an interview with a famous scientist who talks about the disease afflicting the town, the “curse of Tribiano”, described as a direct consequence of the high degree of consanguinity found among the inhabitants.
During the journey back to the village, Vittorio finally meets Angela. The woman confesses that Luca, their child, has died and that the cross erected in the countryside indicates the exact place where he was buried. As soon as these words are pronounced, Angela disappears. In a desperate attempt to find her, almost without realizing it, Vittorio finds himself again in the village cemetery, where he accidentally discovers two tombs that shouldn’t have existed: the tombs of Angela and Nives.
In Giada’s house Vittorio learns of the torment of Angela, struck by the curse, who fled from him to hide the seed of madness that she felt being born inside and which had manifested itself even before giving birth. Shortly after birth, Luca, without a mother capable of looking after him, died of starvation and was buried by Nives. From afar, the “praying woman” had observed that impromptu ceremony and from that day on she had taken to gathering in prayer every night in that place.
Giada also talks about the tombs that Vittorio has just discovered, which hide another incredible secret.
A secret known only to a few people who, thanks to the effects of the curse, are able to bring back to life, even if for short periods, individuals to whom they have been linked by a strong emotional attraction. Precisely this mysterious faculty allowed Giada to bring Vittorio back to life beside her, making him appear one afternoon in her inn.
Angela and Nives also reappeared in the village for the same reason.
Listen to these words, Vittorio has finally understood that he no longer belongs to the world of the living. After one last visit to the town, he tries to escape from Tribiano but, in doing so, instead ends up disappearing, this time forever, swallowed up within that “great nothingness” from which Giada had called him.

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