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|08.14.06||Alamo Downtown|| Excellent doc about the somewhat recent history of the Sicilian mafia. I guess there's a book that's already been turned into a fictional movie but after seeing the crime scene photos and interviews with the real people involved I'm not sure how actors can bring the same emotion to this story. Plus it's complicated. The main gist of it is there were two guys who tried to do some good and pretty much sacrificed their day to day lives in an effort to bring these mafia guys to justice. At one point they even had to live in a remote prison while preparing the case in order to ensure their safety. So years and years of this huge trial take place and finally the sentences get brought down and a ton of these guys gets jailed... only for the next politician in line to reverse all these decisions, let these guys out of jail, and undo all the work the prosecutors did. Then the prosecutors die... people are outraged but the government itself is unwilling to do anything about it. It's a pretty chilling story of a place where this cancer is so ingrained in the country that it's almost impossible to do anything about it. 80% of businesses kick up for protection... 80%! and these mafia guys aren't like... all sly and shadowy. they are blatant, out in the open, and cocksure. Can't get to a guy who needs getting got? Well we know he will have to drive at some point, let's blow up the road he's driving on. Seriously, this huge crater from a massive explosion on a highway just to kill one man and send a message. It's pretty crazy stuff... and all real.|
To me, this really informs all of the 70s Italian Crime movies that I've been watching. In those movies, mobsters are portrayed as the lowest scum of the earth, willing to backstab or sell out anyone to make a buck or stay alive. The movies almost have an active hatred for them... and they usually almost all end up dead. Especially a movie like I Kiss The Hand, which is about one don coming in and disrupting the status quo with aggression. He's constantly underestimated so therefore he constantly surprises the big bosses until one day he's the big boss himself. When I first saw this I thought to myself that it was a good yarn; an entertaining story about mafia politics and not much more. Now I see the direct connections between that movie and real life events. That wasn't just some quickie mafia exploitation movie... that was some ripped-from-the-headlines stuff going on... John Saxon was the Corleonesi and Don ANgelino's crew were the Palermo Mob... after a few name changes of course. So it's really interesting to see the stuff that really went on... it gives complete contex to both the plot and attitude of most of the films made in that period.