Stigma and Psychopathy in Skinless (1994)

Antonio Scarinci.
Psychologist Psychotherapist. SITCC Teacher Member


Proposals for viewing and reading (Coratti, Lorenzini, Scarinci, Segre2012)

Directed by Alessandro D’Alatri. Played by Kim Rossi Stuart, Anna Galiena, Massimo Ghini. Italy 1994.


Saverio, a young psychopath, falls in love with Gina, who lives with Riccardo and the mother of a four-year-old child. The courtship made up of love letters becomes insistent and annoys both the woman and the partner. After a meeting with the boy’s mother, the two decide to help him. Gina convinces a friend, a greenhouse owner, to hire the young man.

Every so often she passes by the greenhouse, and one day Saverio asks her for a kiss. The woman gives in also influenced by the beauty, the sweetness and the splendid poems that the young man dedicates to her. She immediately regrets, however, in the face of Saverio’s emotional shock.

Gina disappears to escape the unfortunate situation and Saverio has a serious crisis. Arrested, he is hospitalized and later enters a therapeutic community where, after some time, a note falls next to him: it is a girl from the center who sends him a message of affection and hope.

Reasons of interest

Advertisement Saverio is a without skin, this is how the psychologist who is treating him defines him: that is, he is transparent, subjected to external stimuli without mediation. Gina pushes him to write beautiful poems and to send wonderful baskets of flowers.

The attractiveness of the magazine models stimulates her sexuality denied by the psychological and family situation. The mother helps Saverio, but the drug treatment alone is certainly not enough. The young person needs relationships, acceptance, affection, acceptance. The world, on the other hand, is at most indifferent, if not hostile, around him.

The stigma marks its presence and avoidance is the widespread and prevalent attitude. Gina and Riccardo realize, coming into contact with Saverio, how much prejudice characterizes the evaluations and relationships with “the madman”, but for a short period of time human warmth and understanding manage to break the vicious circle.

However, one mistake, an involuntary emotional drive is enough to break the subtle balance and plunge the young man back into the vortex of suffering.

However, the film ends with a message of hope that people suffering from serious diseases can have a dignified and quality life. With Saverio we can say: For there to be something that is found there must always be something that is lost.

Indications for use

Indicated to combat stigma and for psychoeducation programs with families of psychotic patients. It creates unconventional spaces and times that open hope to the possibility of being able to treat and include patients suffering from serious psychiatric pathologies in society.





  • Coratti, B., Lorenzini, R., Scarinci, A., Segre, A., (2012). Territories of the meeting. Psychotherapeutic tools, Alpes Italia, Rome. BUY ONLINE
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Stigma and Psychopathy in Skinless (1994) – Cinema & Psychotherapy # 25