An excellent and thought-provoking counterpoint to the more usual Hollywood Mafia films. There is definitely nothing glamorous on show here – even the higher tier mob bosses don’t quite manage the kind of gloss we’re used to seeing.
That said, I found it quite hard to like as a film, but looked at as more of a documentary, it works well. It is constructed as a portmanteau story, following a number of different threads all of which have in common the all-pervading influence of the Comorra mafia.
Two moments that stood out for me were the kids driving massive waste lorries in a disused quarry after an accident where one of the real drivers is injured (really shocking) and when the boss coldly discards some peaches given to him by an elderly lady, which was just incredibly sad and heartless. Both incidents underlined that there is none of that protective concept of ‘family’ just a bleak money-making machine that tramples all over everything it touches.
What was truly appalling to me was looking at the landscape and living conditions and realise that this is 21st century Italy. It is bleak and barren, police travel in packs and the whole place has the air of a war zone (which it is, I guess). This is definitely not the Italy of Roman Holiday!