Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Price of Success

The photo (by Penny Bradfield) shows a 28 year old Italian author who's written a runaway bestseller and whose film is a contender for an Oscar. Life should be peachy, but Roberto Saviano is living a nightmare instead. The problem is that his book 'Gomorrah' is about the mafia. These are not the gentlemanly goombahs in nice suits as depicted by Coppola or the Jersey mob as shown by HBO. This is the real thing and they are very pissed off about the way they come over. I went to see the film this afternoon and I can see why.

Shot in a gritty documentary style the movie cuts between the lives of several people caught up in the Cosa Nostra. Several of them come to bad and tragic ends. Others are utterly compromised. The manner in which the mob's tendrils extend into every aspect of business is superbly depicted. There is no glamour in the film; its vision of life around the mob comes over as sordid in the extreme.

Anyway Roberto Saviano got it so bang-on the local family in Naples has decided that he's to be murdered by Christmas. The result is he spends all his time with Carabinieri in a series of ever shifting hiding places and is now planning to leave the country.

"The fuck with success," Roberto told La Republicca this week "I want a life. I want a home. I want to fall in love. I want to [be able to] drink a beer in public, go to a bookshop and choose a book after browsing the back cover. I want to go for a walk, enjoy the sun, walk in the rain and see my mother without fear - and without frightening her - I'm only 28 years old, for fuck's sake."

I urge everyone to go and see this brave and remarkable film.

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