TorinoFilmLab - Training, development, Funding



Michael Wahrmann



A French retired diplomat and his Brazilian wife buy an old abandoned house on a paradisiac island in Brazil. When they move there, they find out that, on part of the property, there is a small village of fishermen, descendants of an old German colony. They are blond, tall and have blue eyes. The strange inhabitants offer to take care of the house, in exchange, the couple would let them continue living there.

Four youngsters are sent to work with the couple. They have a sinister aspect: one wears an eye patch, another is visibly lame, one is full of scars and the last one is mute. Despite the initial kindness, there is something deeply unsettling about them as inexplicable accidents begin to occur.

During a horrific stormy night, the couple finds out that the inhabitants of the island suffer from a rare syndrome: they do not feel any pain. Fearing for their land and life, the couple takes a drastic action that leads to a violent confrontation, questioning the limits of pain and compassion.


Painless came from a dream. In it, my ex-wife and I had bought a country house. When we got there, we found there was a squatter’s settlement inside the property. She got furious; she bought those lands with her own money and hard work. It was hers. I tried to explain that they would not bother us, as they would occupy a distant part that we would never use. She insisted. I gave up.

The next morning, I read an article about CIPA, a rare genetic disease which deprives people from feeling any pain. Unfelt injuries lead to infections, amputation or even death. The article described kids with visible scars and deformities. What seemed at first as a superpower was actually a curse.

These two universes blended together into a single story where fear of the other (or the excluded) becomes the main dramatic motor. The horror genre construction in this story should find a way to turn the film into a personal expression that reveals, in the cruellest way, the essence of Brazil today: a dark tropical nightmare.


A class struggle over land rights on a tropical island in a social horror thriller.
Michael Wahrmann

Scriptwriter, Film Director, Production

production notes

original title
Sem Dor

directed by
Michael Wahrmann

produced bySANCHO&PUNTA
Plinio de Morais 304
01252-030, São Paulo
SP, Brazil

current financial need
€ € 2.000.000