This great Mafia movie about Max was so true to life that the writer was afraid for his life


Mobster movies explore the violent and shocking underworlds of corruption and amorality. From Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather to Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning The Irishman, they’re popular. These gangster movies do their utmost to make a secret world accessible to most and sublimate the turmoil and bloodshed via very personal and occasionally relatable individuals, always wondering if the ends justify the methods. Matteo Garrone, who director Gomorrah (2008), allegedly colluded with genuine mafia members to make the film. After receiving death threats for disclosing mafia secrets in his non-fiction book of the same name, Roberto Saviano spent eight years under armed guard. The film is harsh and disturbing.

What’s ‘Gomorrah’ About?

Mob films are docu-dramas that introduce audiences to unexpected groups. Gomorrah takes viewers into Naples’ harsh streets and shows how culture and criminality intersect. The film follows the Casalesi clan in Naples’ Camorra crime group. Two factions fight after an assassination in a hair salon, setting the story of five people whose lives are touched by the conflict. The story is like ripples in a pond, where one occurrence and its mayhem affects or infects everyone.

The film opens with mafia middleman Don Ciro (Gianfelice Imparato) distributing illicit cash. As a result of the salon hit, this seemingly harmless individual is ambushed and forced to sell out his countrymen to survive. His treason leads to his bosses’ death, ending in a bloody, bullet-soaked cash flurry. In uncertain times, Don Ciro limps past his former bosses’ bodies as the assassins leave him a mound of bloody money. This beautiful Naples street introduction shows the audience what drives its members. Violence is daily and for pay. This is disturbing since the book it’s based on is based on genuine occurrences.

Next arcs, like Totò (Salvatore Abruzzese) at 13, relate similar stories. A bag of guns and drugs is returned to the gang by the boy. He tries to join and is shot in the chest while wearing a homemade bulletproof vest. Gangsters must master guns. The youngster later helps his group lure a woman out of her apartment to murder her, a horrifying tale of innocence ruined by gangland life.

How Does the Movie Differ From the Book?

The film’s events are fictional, but the book is based on journalist Roberto Saviano’s childhood in Naples. Saviano wrote in The Guardian that he was outraged about neighborhood violence as a child.

Soon after his 2006 book was published, Saviano received death threats. He recounts the sobering occurrence in The Guardian “My mother received a brochure in the mailbox. She lived in Caserta, while I lived in Naples. I was photographed with a pistol to my head and the word “Condemned”.” However, the threats continued, forcing the author to live under armed escort for eight years. The mafia’s corrupting and frightening influence was even used to make the film, which Saviano may yet be protected from.

Did Matteo Garrone Cast Real Mobsters in ‘Gomorrah’?

Matteo Garrone cast real-life mobsters in his film. Variety reports that many of the film’s non-professional performers had real-life ties to the Camorra clans and have been imprisoned for extortion and drug trafficking since its debut. The film’s brutal and spectacular depiction of Naples mafia life was lauded due to the director’s ability to get great performances from non-professional actors. Realism from the filmmaker and many of the performers’ tough Naples upbringing made the picture a hit, winning the Jury prize and a Palme d’Or nomination at Cannes in 2008.

Because it never stops, the mafia’s reach continued. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Casalesi clan member and Castel Volturno massacre culprit Oreste Spagnuolo said that the director worked with and paid protection money to real-life mafiosos to make the picture. While these charges have never been proven in court, they are commonly believed because the director didn’t have as bad a mob experience as Saviano during filming. This supports Saviano’s claim that the mafia corrupts Italian society.

Gomorrah is a terrifying, breathtaking thriller that shows Naples’ filthy underbelly with startling elegance and beauty. It is a mafia movie you must see, packed with gritty brilliance that comes from deep knowledge of the topic. Although fictitious, it catches the essence of Saviano’s book, never glorifying mob life but revealing the hazardous realities of a romanticized existence.