Testa di Morto

Torn apart between irrational passion and scientific lucidity, an insect enthusiast finds himself breeding and selling rare butterflies on the blackmarket all over the world.

“A pair of compound, magnetic eyes, that stare at you without watching.”

Featured on Nowness, Testa di Morto is a documentary shot and edited over the course of one and a half years. It falls under the category of Poetic documentary, since the film aims to create a micro world with its own language rather than conveying a strong opinion on the contents.

The judgement belongs to the audience, not to the director.

We met the protagonist by chance and decided to make this film about his unique lifestyle and controversial ethics. For legal reasons, he asked not to be recognizable, but allowed us to follow him day and night. He would call at any hour to tell us if a mating or a catch would happen and we had to run, bringing what we could, sometimes a camera, some other times a phone.

Testa di Morto is the Italian name for Death’s-Head hawkmoth, a reference to the no-head technique shown in the film, and a loose assonance with the Italian say “testa di cazzo” (dick-head).


  • Written and produced by The Jack Stupid Film
  • Starring • jak
  • Directed by Matteo Di Gioia & Luis Felipe Bueno
  • Music • In Zaire
  • Motion design & Editing: • Matteo di Gioia
  • Grading • Stefano Brandolini
  • PR • Pietro Agostini
  • Sound Mix • Chris Gramaglia