We Americans are into “binge-watching”, so open a bottle of wine, order a pizza, and queue up these Italian mafia movies for day on the couch.
These films are all easy to find in the US and have English subtitles.
Rita Mancuso wants revenge. An unlikely heroine, she was the loving daughter of an old school mafia boss who’d been murdered by rival mafia members. It’s based on the real life story of Rita Atria, whose courageous testimony has put dozens of mafiosi in jail and provoked violence that rocked ( and continues to rock ) all of Italy.
Gomorrah, directed by Matteo Garrone, is an extremely complicated crime story about the day-to-day operations of the lesser known and yet more prolific crime organization in Italy,the Camorra and the hard life of the normal people living in its grip.
When Salvo arrives for a hit and finds his target’s blind sister, Rita, home alone, we really don’t see any clues as to why he doesn’t immediately whack her. She’s pretty? She’s blind? Whatever the reason for the mercy he shows her, it doesn’t extend to her brother. He does the job that he’s arrived to do, and then kidnaps Rita. Great supporting performance by Luigi Lo Cascio.
The true story of Angela, the wife of a much older Sicilian mobster takes up with her husband’s employee while she runs her shoe store, a front for her husband’s heroin business. Stars Donatella Finocchiaro.
Another true story, a movie about a formerly powerful mobster from Milan that captured the attention of Italy during the 70s and 80s in a Robin Hoodish kind of way. It stars Kim Rossi Stuart and Filippo TImi.