Based on a real case, the Italian thriller film, Yara, follows the mysterious disappearance of a 13-year-old girl from Brembate di Sopra, Bergamo, Italy. Yara Gambirasio went to the gym in the afternoon but never made it home. Prosecutor Letizia Ruggeri, played by Isabella Ragonese, conducts a thorough investigation to find out the girl’s whereabouts. Being a mother herself, Letizia sympathetically resonates with Yara’s mother, Maura, and becomes consumed in the case. Let’s follow the tracks of her investigation.
‘Yara’ Plot Summary
The film opens with the events of February 26, 2011, when a local finds a decaying body of Yara Gambirasio in a field in Chignolo d’Isola near the Not Only Dance Night Club. The 13-year-old girl disappeared 3 months ago, on November 26, 2010. She went to her gym class to deliver a stereo system and never made it home.
Prosecutor Letizia Ruggeri has been rigorously investigating the case. In the 3 months since Yara’s disappearance, Letizia has failed to find any significant leads or evidence and has been beating around the bush. However, as Yara’s dead body is discovered, the authorities find foreign DNA on her body. Forensics reports a foreign male DNA sample labelled “Unknown 1.” However, due to the lack of a DNA database in Italy, it becomes a laborious task to match it with a suspect.
Letizia decides to create her own database from the samples of every man and woman in close contact with Yara or with her family and friends. However, for her extensive budget for collecting DNA samples, she received a backlash from the ministers, the media, and the people. Yet, ardently and patiently, Letizia continues the investigation to find the murderer.
Who Killed Yara Gambirasio?
The forensic doctor informed Letizia that the male DNA belonged to an Indo-European man who might have light eyes. In the new course of the investigation, the Red Cross and FEMA workers set up campaigns to collect DNA samples.
A year later, forensic police found a 50% match and reported that a person named Damiano Guerinoni was a direct relative of the Unknown 1. Letizia collected the DNA of Guerinoni’s siblings but didn’t find an exact match. The forensic doctor, Crivelli, needed the DNA of their father, Giuseppe Guerinononi, believing that Giuseppe could be the father of Unknown 1 too. And Unknown 1 might be the fourth sibling born outside of wedlock.
However, Giuseppe died some 15 years ago, and so to find the leads, Letizia interrogated Giuseppe’s wife. They found a DNA sample from Giuseppe’s driving license, and Crivelli concluded that Giuseppe was the father of Unknown 1, who was born from another woman. Giuseppe was a bus driver and served many towns up and down the Bergamo province. Hence, Letizia decided to collect the DNA samples of every woman in the area that annoyed the people and congress further.
Letizia, in her crusade to find the killer, failed to gather any significant leads. In April 2013, one month before the case filing, Senator Nigiotti demanded an inquiry on Letizia’s investigation and requested to replace her. The authorities pressured her to resign, but Letizia refused to give them up.
Finally, a professor, Previdere, came to her rescue and informed Letizia about her researcher, Pierangela Grignani, who found an allele in Unknown 1’s DNA. An allele is a variant of a gene and is extremely rare. It wasn’t present in Giuseppe’s DNA, which concluded that he got it from his mother. The discovery narrowed the sample list, and the police found the mother of Unknown 1 i.e., Esther Arzuffi.
Esther had three children, among whom the younger one had been living abroad for several years. Out of the other two twins, the male child, Massimo Giuseppe Bossetti, matched with the DNA of Unknown 1. Letizia concluded that Massimo assaulted and murdered Yara Gambirasio.
‘Yara’ Ending, Explained
Massimo was a 41-year-old carpenter who lived in Mapello. During the autopsy, officials found iron particles on Yara’s clothes and lime residues in her lungs. It directly linked with Massimo’s profession, and Letizia believed that Massimo assaulted Yara with his carpentry tools. According to the forensic, Unknown 1 had light eyes, and Massimo matched the profile.
After gathering significant evidence against Massimo Bossetti, the police arrested him and charged him for the murder of Yara Gambirasio.
In 2015, Massimo was presented in the court of law, where he denied killing Yara. His defense lawyer tried his best to protect his client, but by now, the police had enough evidence to put Massimo behind bars. Even Massimo’s wife accepted that Massimo was not at home on the evening of Yara’s disappearance. On the evening of November 26, 2010, Massimo’s cell phone pinged to the tower near Ruggeri Street, marking his presence near the area from which Yara disappeared. The authorities even presented CCTV footage that highlighted a truck similar to Massimo’s vehicle. Massimo’s defense refused to accept the theory cooked up by the police, but he didn’t have enough evidence to save his client.
On the last day of hearings, on July 1, 2016, the Grand Jury of Bergamo declared Massimo Bossetti guilty of murdering Yara Gambirasio and sentenced him to life imprisonment.
Massimo appealed to the Supreme Court in October 2018, but the higher court confirmed his guilty verdict.
In November 2019, Bossetti’s defense requested access to the police findings for new evaluations, but the motion was rejected. On January 11, 2021, the Supreme Court ordered the Assize Court to schedule a hearing for Bossetti, and on June 3, the Assize Court rejected Bossetti’s defense request to access the findings.
Despite the rulings, Massimo never accepted the crimes. Hence, the police never found out how Bossetti kidnapped Yara. They never found out the reason why Yara sat inside Bossetti’s van. Letizia theorized that because Bossetti worked on the same building site as Yara’s father, he probably knew him and Yara. On the day of her disappearance, she was getting late for home, and probably Bossetti persuaded or forced her to get into his van. However, the real reasons remain unknown as Bossetti never confessed to kidnapping Yara.
Bossetti’s wife mentioned Bossetti’s brother-in-law in a conversation with Bossetti. However, the film didn’t explain his involvement at all. It left a lot of loose ends because probably Letizia wanted to find a closure for the case.
Yara is a 2021 Italian crime drama film directed by Marco Tullio Giordana. It is based on a real case that revolved around the disappearance of a 13-year-old girl.