“The traitor” by Marco Bellocchio, when a repentant folds the mafia: powerful, panting

With “The Traitor” (“Il traditore”), the great Italian filmmaker Marco Bellocchio delivers a powerful drama around the figure of Tommaso Buscetta. The film will represent Italy at the 2020 Oscars.

The traitor: this is how the Sicilian mafia, Cosa Nostra, sees Tommaso Buscetta, says Don Masino, since he decided to work with justice after seeing a part of his family decimated by rival clans. This is the first of the great “repenters” of the mafia, whose denunciations have allowed 366 arrests of size, that has interested Marco Bellocchio. The traitor (The traitor), in theaters on October 30, has been selected to represent Italy at the 2020 Oscars.

Buscetta is all the more important as she is also associated with the name of Giovanni Falcone, the famous judge to whom he relates friendship, and which will bring the mafia, through this collaboration, a serious but not definitive blow. because he was killed in a bomb attack in Capaci (on the motorway near Palermo) on May 23, 1992. In his memory, The traitor (The traitor (in Italian) was released in Italy on May 23, anniversary.

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Bellocchio grapples with this film with a historical and political plot of first interest. It goes back to the key period of the “maxi-trial” (they were called so) on the mafia without shying away from the debates that took place around them. With the issues of repentance: his sincerity (with regard to justice) and the relationships of the repentant with his “family” before.

“I have been and remain a man of honor. They have betrayed the ideals of Cosa Nostra” said the character in the movie. With sensitivity and sensitivity, Bellocchio shows his nostalgia for a so-called ideal mafia of yesteryear and still names Buscetta as a criminal, thus avoiding being accused of being a hero.

The description of the trials, in their theatricality, is also worth the detour. These moments supposed to be solemn, turn to the fair. The attitude of all these bosses (young and old) of Cosa Nostra in their boxes (their cages, it should be said) becomes even stingy: one of them is completely undressed by protest, while another refuses to extinguish his cigar and quote from Michel Butor!

Bellocchio beautifully sculpts his characters and the actors do it well. Pierfrancesco Favino (a great comedian outside the Alps unfortunately very little known outside his country) generously cares for the charismatic and good-looking man Buscetta is. Fabrizio Ferracane plays the role of the perfect bastard, and Luigi Lo Cascio (far more recognized abroad than his predecessors) is twisting into an unintelligible mafia at the trial because he is unable to speak anything other than the Sicilian dialect.

The traitor is a beautiful, powerful film. And breathtaking: the action that takes place between Sicily, Brazil (where the man took refuge several times before being extradited) and Rome never loses its rhythm, which alternates the blows (and and drama. But his bill remains very classic, with careful photography and lyricalism, as Bellocchio knows so well. Even calling, when needed, on beautiful opera airs.

Genre : Biopic, Drama
Director : Marco Bellocchio
Actors : Pierfrancesco Favino, Maria Fernanda Cândido, Fabrizio Ferracane, Luigi Lo Cascio

Country : Italy, France, Germany, Brazil
Duration : 2h25
Exit : October 30, 2019
Distributor : Ad Vitam
: In the early 1980s, the war between the sponsors of the Sicilian mafia was at its peak. Tommaso Buscetta, a member of Cosa Nostra, flees his country to hide in Brazil. Meanwhile, in Italy, the settlement rules are tightening, and Buscetta's relatives are murdered one after the other. Arrested by Brazilian police and then extradited, Buscetta makes a decision that will change the history of the mafia: meeting Falcone J. and betraying the oath at Cosa Nostra.


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