Monday, 21 May 2012

Challenge Excepted: Italy

As my challenge continues with Italy I also struck gold when searching for films from other countries including Taiwan, Norway, Poland and a film from Germany that I never got to see the end of.

First up, Italy and the film, Gomorrah.

Back in 2008, Little White Lies had a Gomorrah issue, this the cover.

I had wanted to watch Gomorrah ever since I read an article in Vanity Fair about the Camorra, the name given to crime organisation in Naples, Italy. I was so intrigued by the story of the Camorra and how this still function today I wanted to see for myself.

There are five intertwining stories in the film, each seen from the perspective of an individual and one duo. Toto is a 13 year old groceries delivery boy who joins a gang after helping retrieve one the gang's weapons and drugs after a police raid. Don Ciro is a middleman who delivers money to the families of imprisoned clan members. Roberto works in waste management and his boss, a wealthy man, illegally dumps toxic waste in abandoned quarries. Pasquale is a haute couture tailor who's bos has Camorra ties. He has a night job working for a rival Chinese factory which doesn't sit well with the Camorra. The duo, Marco and Sweat Pea are two cocky wannabe gangster teenagers who get on the wrong side of a Camorra clan.

Each story intertwines with the other as the film is set in the Naples and Caserta, mainly in a derelict housing estate. Everyone seems on edge, except the children, who throughout the film seem content, apart from a shooting that takes place in the middle of the street near a playground.

The film is brilliant, even though I didn't feel attached to anyone in the film. The stories are all staged yet it felt it could a be a documentary after reading that article. Everyone is out for themselves yet they demand loyalty from others. Matteo Garrone is great director and you can see this, not in only in the film but in the behind the scene featurettes, he works well with everyone, especially the children.

You can describe the film as gritty realism but it is more than that, as I said it felt more like a documentary and all to real to be just a film. The stories might not be about the inside of a clan but you see how dangerous it is to just know someone who knows someone in the clan, they have a far reach and they will get you, even if you have done something so small. At the end of the film, facts appear on the screen.

'In Europe, the Camorra have killed more than any terrorist or crime organisation; 40,000 deaths in the last 30 years, one every three days.'

'The Camorra have invested in the rebuilding of the Twin Towers.'

Just a couple of facts, the first one really does shock me.

Its a great film and I recommend anyone to watch it.

End Line: Don't go to Naples, watch the film.

Next up is Ireland.

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