La siciliana ribelle, Iago, Giulia non esce la sera

New out in Rome this week, La siciliana ribelle, which is the latest in the stream of Italian films which touch on the crime genre, using it as a way of re-examining the country’s recent past and, in particular, the relationship between the mafia and the more democratic systems of power.  According to Cineuropa, the plot goes something like this:

Freely inspired by real events. One November morning in 1991, 17 year old Rita approached the Chief Prosecutor of Palermo, intent on vindicating her father’s and brother’s mafia related deaths. This marked the first time that the daughter of a mafia family openly rebelled against the traditionally male dominated organization. From then on, Rita’s days were counted. Repudiated and threatened by her boyfriend, her hometown and even her mother, she was forced to leave Sicily and move to Rome where she lives under another name.

It’s an compelling story, and there’s another good reason for this being of interest: the script is by Sergio Donati, one of the most important writers in Italian cinema over the past fifty years.  Director Marco Amenta previously directed a documentary about Rita Atria, and also Il fantasma di Corleone (2004) (he seems to specialise on fact based, political cinema).  Gerard Jugnot, who had a big hit in The Choir a few years back, is the co-star.

Other releases this week are Iago, a kind of teenage reinterpretation of Othello, which is the one that’s making the biggest waves at the box office, and Giulia non esce la sera, an adult romance about a writer who starts taking swimming lessons from a prisoner on day release (played by Valeria Golino, who looks just like a prisoner on day release).

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