Italian cinema tells fascinating true stories in authentic, non-sensationalized ways.
La Mafia Uccide Solo D’Estate
In a Forrest Gumpesque style of storytelling, director, writer and star Pierfrancesco Diliberto (Pif)‘s debut film is about a fictional little boy who crosses paths with real-life anti-Mafia figures like Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa and judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino. This entertaining comedy has a very serious side and pays tribute to actual heros who gave their lives to fight organized crime in Sicily. It’s been said that when Pif was filming in Palermo, he refused to pay the expected kickbacks to local crime bosses.
Donatella Finocchiaro plays a beautiful and cagey mafia wife in this true story about organized crime in Palermo. “Angela” marries an older mafia boss and helps him move heroin out of the shoe store she runs.
Cesare Deve Morire (Caesar Must Die)
Real inmates at a real maximum security prison in Rome stage a production of Julius Caesar. Nearly all incarcerated for drug trafficking or organized crime activity, they play all the parts in the production and use it as an opportunity to tell their own stories as well as Shakespeare’s.
“We said they could use any name they like and make up biographical details but none did, they all told their real stories,” said director Paolo Taviani. “They realized this film would be seen in theaters, maybe by people, by friends, who had forgotten them. This was their way of crying out: We’re here! We’re alive!”
Matteo Garrone made this award winning film based on Roberto Saviano’s non-fiction book about the Camorra (Naples based organized crime group) ; Saviano has required police protection and body guards since writing it.
Io Non Ho Paura (I’m Not Afraid)
The movie “Non Ho Paura” was based on Niccolò Ammaniti prize-winning novel set during Italy’s “anni di piombo” and is about the real life era of terrorism by radical groups in the ’70s and ’80s. In it, a wealthy northern child is held for ransom in the south, a common occurrence during those years.
Italy Love It Or Leave It
In this amusing documentary,after eviction from their apartment Gustav and Luca are at a crossroads; Gustav wants to leave Italy and move to Berlin, but Luca wants to stick it out in his native country. Before making this important decision, the guys give themselves six months to tour the country in an old Fiat 500, the symbol of economic miracle, and make a “pros and cons” list on the merits and disadvantages of living in Italy.
La Siciliana (The Sicilian Girl)
This is the true story of an unlikely heroine, the loving daughter of an old school mafia boss who’d been murdered by rival mafia members and whose courageous testimony put dozens of mafiosi in jail and provoked violence that rocked all of Italy.
Vallanzazca, Gli Angeli di Male (Angels of Evil)
Vallenzasca is a real guy who is currently serving four consecutive life sentences with an additional 290 years in a Milanese prison for wreaking a decade of havoc on Italy, outsmarting the police and the prison system, robbing banks, kidnapping, murdering, inciting riots in prison and periodically breaking out of it. The movie pretty accurately follows the real criminal’s real life, and portrays Vallanzasca’s (somewhat askew) code of honor and old-fashioned values and his success with the ladies, earning him the nickname “il bel René”. He believed that he wasn’t such a bad guy, and used the media to help him get public support.