The Sicilian Mafia, The Camorra, The ‘Ndrangheta; what do Italian filmmakers say about them?
Italian film festivals in American sometimes shy away from screening movies about “The Mafia”, mostly because Italian-Americans think that it makes them look bad. But Italian filmmakers are more interested in laying it out there, airing dirty laundry and telling it like it is.
If you want to know about organized crime in Italy (and be entertained at the same time), start with Pierfrancesco Diliberto.
Known in Italy as Pif, this Italian TV star has made two really lovely movies that have a lot to say about the Sicilian Mafia in an educational and compelling way, La Mafia Uccide Solo D’estate (The Mafia Only Kills In The Summer) and In Guerra Per Amore (At War For Love).
The first, La Mafia Uccide Solo D’estate, is a clever child’s eye view of what it was like for normal people living under the mafia’s thumb in 1980s and 90s Palermo. Pif directed, starred in, and cowrote this uniquely entertaining take on a very serious theme, the mafia’s killing spree that resulted in the deaths of judges, politicians, and police officers and reached fever pitch with the famous “Maxi-Trial”.
The second, In Guerra Per Amore, offers a prequel of sorts, an explanation of how the mafia was able a stronghold over the Italian Island in the first place.
This one is a charming rom-com with a historical fiction story. It’s 1943 and as World War II rages in Europe, Palermo native Arturo (Pif) is in New York City working as a waiter. His sweetheart Flora (Miriam Leone) has been promised to the son of an important New York Mafia boss, and to stop the wedding, he joins the army and goes to Sicily in search of Flora’s father in hopes to ask for her hand in marriage.
Watch La Mafia Uccide Solo D’Estate on VUDU , iTunes.
If your interest is with the Neapolitan Mafia, the Camorra, then you can thank Roberto Saviano for all kinds of things; his book, his movie, and his binge-worthy TV show. All titled Gomorra (English title adds an “H”, “Gomorrah”), they’ve been created to shine a light on the lesser known but much more powerful organized crime based in Naples. Saviano had to go into hiding and still requires bodyguards ever since he wrote the book.
Get to know the Calabrian Mafia, the ‘Ndrangheta, in the compelling and award-winning Anime Nere (Black Souls), a family drama as much as a crime story, about three brothers and their three completely different concerns about “the family”.