Marco Bellocchio might not be a household name in the United States, but he's been churning out films in Italy for over half a century. His latest film, "The Traitor" (Il traditore) is being billed as "the true story about the man who brought down the Mafia," and it's playing here in Michigan at the Detroit Film Theater this weekend.
Continuing a long-standing tradition when it comes to mob movies, "The Traitor" is a daunting film, at nearly two-and-a-half hours long. But it's never NOT compelling. It stars a massive ensemble of Italian actors, with major Italian movie-star Pierfrancesco Favino in the central role as Tommaso Buscetta, a lower-level thug who is credited with bringing down the Cosa Nostra in Sicily back in the 1980s.
Buscetta operated by his own code of loyalty, justifying his actions as a "rat" with a staunch belief that what he was doing was in fact saving the "old" ways of the Mafia. It also deals with his relationship with judge Giovanni Falcone (Fausto Russo Alesi) who was a key figure in trying to bring down this underworld structure of organized crime.
"The Traitor" isn't quite as riveting as many entries into the genre (it's no "The Godfather" for example), but to American audiences, this movie has a level of authenticity that few state-side Mafia movies have achieved, based on the fact that it's sub-titled and thoroughly Italian. It's also an interesting piece of history, even if it doesn't quite dig too deep into the "why" of everything. But instead of seeing how the Cosa Nostra had branched out into different parts of the world, it was fascinating to see the inner-workings of things right at Ground Zero in Sicily.
Go see "The Traitor" this weekend...it's not quite an offer you can't refuse, but it's an invitation worth taking.
Genre: Biography, Crime, Drama, Foreign.
Run Time: 2 hours 25 minutes.
Starring: Pierfrancesco Favino, Luigi Lo Cascio, Fausto Russo Alesi, Maria Fernanda Candido.
Co-Written and Directed by Marco Bellocchio ("Sweet Dreams," "Blood of My Blood," "Vincere," "The Wedding Director," "The Nanny," "The Seagull").
"The Traitor (Il traditore)" is in select theaters on Friday, March 6th, 2020.
Looking for a specific movie or review?