'These stories are our defence against organised crime': the mafia on film

the Guardian | 8/14/2018 | Roberto Saviano
You won’t recognise a member of the mafia. Whether you’re in Naples, Paris, London or Mexico City, you wouldn’t know the member of a crime syndicate from the next guy. Actually, it’s always been like that: the mafia have always looked exactly the same as their law-abiding neighbours. Omertà, or the code of silence, originates precisely from this – quite apart from the fear of retaliation, omertà begins from a natural inclination not to betray one of your own. By extension, this code of silence can afflict people, whether ordinary people or politicians, who don’t want to be told stories that clash with the picture-postcard image they would like to project of their own country.

Back in 2009, it was Silvio Berlusconi who said: “If I find the man who made the new serial of La Piovra [The Octopus] and who writes books about the mafia which give us a bad name in the world, I swear I will throttle him.” It was an unfortunate choice of words, but it reflects what many Italian politicians think. It was [former prime minister] Matteo Renzi who labelled those, like myself, who abandoned the glowing narrative which had it that Italy had recovered from its economic crisis, “merchants of doom”.

Italy - Mafia - World - Stories - Mafia

Italy has the most dangerous and powerful mafia in the world; it is also the best at telling stories about the mafia. These stories are our defence against organised crime, because how else do we learn about it? Some examples: An animated film entitled Gatta Cenerentola (Cinderella the Cat) has appeared, produced by Mad Entertainment (a kind of Studio Ghibli in Naples). The film shows what Naples could be if the Camorra were kept out of activities, and it could be allowed to flourish – and how things really are, where nothing is safe from...
(Excerpt) Read more at: the Guardian
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