Heaven Over the Marshes (1949)
The scene is the Pontine Marshes, a disease-ridden region. The year is 1902. Maria Goretti, a twelve-year-old girl, lives with her parents, poor farm hands, in the house of Serenelli, a heavy drinker who has offered them board and lodging. The farmer has a son, Alessandro, aged eighteen, who is sexually attracted to the pious girl. Maria resists his advances. One day the young man can't help it anymore: he rapes Maria before murdering her. Before she dies, Maria forgives her assailant. After her death she is canonized as a saint.