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The true story of 17-year-old Sicilian Rita Atria (Veronica D'Agostino) -- who broke the Sicilian Mafia's code of silence and testified against the "family business" after both her father and then her brother are both murdered -- is brought to vivid life in Marco Amenta's hard-hitting and wonderfully acted drama. Written by
Rita Mancuso, 11, born in Sicily gets the afflictive experience of watching her father, respected Don Michele shot by a rival mafia family. This inflicts greater incorrigible wound in her heart thus insisting on execution of her fathers criminals out of the reputation and weight her regal family carried. 7 years later when the plan hatched by her brother to avenge their father's death goes futile resulting in the murder of brother, she offers her help to law to satisfy her personal vendetta. From here on follows the story of Rita raging a war against the mafia based on true story.
Languishing in my hard disk for over a year I finally caught up with this Italian/Sicilian movie. The movie shot in picturesque Italy with distinctive roads, artistic houses and Corleone-esq feel is symbolical of the situation at the time. The movie premise is 1985-92 during which there was collective negligence by the government towards the region and hence it culminated the dominance of Don mafia.According to the true events I read later, the movie for most part stays true to the events occurred in reality. Although there isn't much startling about the movie or it's revelations, its intriguing to trace the path of a lone girl against a huge empire. What's also very interesting is the development of Rita in the movie, as she is shown a egoistical, domineering proud Sicilian at first. When she approaches the law to punish the mafia, she tells them she is offering her services and not asking for help. She is shown as this fiery character who listens to nobody as fixes on the notion that she should carry forward her great family legacy and avenge the murder. Later when the things comes to light about her family, she finds it difficult to understand her existence, she thinks the prosecutor is the only guy who understands her. This transformation of Rita is what I found most enjoyable, yet it had it's shortcomings.
The one major flaw of the movie was the cast, for me the role of Rita needed extreme aggressiveness and had to be overtly bold. Here in some parts the actress Veronica D'Agostino lacked/underplayed the portrayal. Also the aforementioned actresses either never looked 17(character age) or Sicilian age suspiciously faster. The supporting cast of Gérard Jugnot,Lucia Sardo played their role according to the story. Also I liked the small scene shot outside Colosseum.
A very interesting movie and a definite watch if you have two minds about it.
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