Movie Night: Gomorrah (2008)


Sunday December 1st 2013, Movie night, Gomorrah (Roberto Saviano, 2008). Door opens at 20:00, film begins at 21:00

Gomorrah is based on a non-fiction novel published in 2006 by now infamous Italian journalist Roberto Saviano. The film, remaining true to the book, depicts the way Neapolitan organized crime reaches into every facet of social life in the region, from families to government, due to its ironclad grip on lucrative licit and illicit commercial activities, both locally and globally. Matteo Garrone’s neorealist depiction veritably injects the viewer into the narratives of the characters that seek to navigate their way through this society: from young teenage boys trying to make it as mafia bosses by emulating Scarface, to an illegal tailor skirting the wrath of his Camorra superiors, to a semi-legitimate entrepreneur who offers illegal waste-removal services…and more.

The Camorra itself was originally a name given to the petty criminals that occupied Naples during the 19th century, of which the current groups are not direct descendants. Instead, the Camorra of today is comprised of street and youth gangs usually formed around a charismatic leader. While some inter-group/inter-family allegiances do exist, most are so volatile that the “mafia-type criminal organization” charge cannot be used during formal prosecutions. Instead – and as Garrone’s Gomorrah powerfully demonstrates – violence and cunning reign supreme. Adding to the impact is the fact that most of the actors are non-professional locals, and that the movie was shot in the actual areas surrounding Naples that are depicted in Saviano’s novel.

Regardless of how one approaches the film, Garrone’s screen adaptation allows viewers of any background to appreciate what Saviano defines as the Camorra’s perversion of the term “uomini d’onore” (“men of honour”). If, on the other hand, tangible evidence of the importance of this film (and Roberto Saviano) to Italian and global society is, in the opinion of the viewer, still lacking, it should be sufficient to note one simple reality that would otherwise escape the average viewer. Roberto Saviano himself has been under constant police protection for the better part of the last decade, due only to the fear his work has and will continue to instill in the hearts of these “men of honour”.

Film night at Joe’s Garage, warm and cozy cinema! Doors open at 8pm, film begins at 9pm, free entrance. You want to play a movie, let us know: joe [at] squat [dot] net