(CONTAINS SPOILERS!) L'USURA is an extraordinarily disquieting movie about a small businessman, Antonio Ruzon, who is short on operating capital and who is forced to turn to the underworld for loans. Sucked into a whirlpool of spiraling debt, faced with threats of violence to himself and his family when unable to make payments, this decent human being finally collapses under the pressure, slaughters his wife and children, and attempts suicide. This is a riveting drama combining the suspense of American gangster thrillers with the dramatic conviction of a fine character study. Gianni Gavina plays the victim in this decent into the abyss, and the director of this case-study is Maurizio Rotundi. He had worked as an assistant to both Alberto Lattuada and Franco Rossi. It was made for Italian television and shot in Rome as part of a RAI-TV3 Lazio Regional Office series called "Roman Stories".
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