The real ‘Godfather’

The Camorra — an organization that controls drug trafficking, construction, and waste disposal in and around Naples — makes Sicily’s Cosa Nostra look like a Rotary Club. In Gomorrah, which opens in limited release on February 13, the crime syndicate has finally gotten its Godfather.

Based on a 2006 book by the highly bodyguarded Italian journalist Roberto Saviano, the film goes out of its way to overturn mafia-movie clichés: Instead of mapping the Camorra’s organizational DNA, director Matteo Garrone focuses on its white-collar enablers, servants with no means of escape, and teenagers sucked into the gangster lifestyle. Visually stunning and beautifully acted, Gomorrah — which won the Grand Prix at Cannes and five European Film Awards — didn’t get an Oscar nod for Best Foreign Picture. It did, however, deserve one.

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