Excellent Cadavers

Excellent Cadavers

DVD - 2005
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Documentary based on the book by Italian-American author Alexander Stille and featuring the photos of Sicilian photojournalist Letizia Battaglia, it chronicles the recent history of the Mafia and its integral -- and seemingly ineradicable -- relationship to postwar Italian politics. The film focuses on the events leading up to the historic anti-Mafia trials in Palermo mounted by Italian prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino in the mid 1980s and 1990s, and questions why so much of anti-Mafia legislation they fought and died for has since been undone by the Italian government.


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Jan 22, 2015

Bleak and pessimistic look at the Sicilian mafia and its intimate relationship with Italy’s corrupt political system. It would appear that the Cosa Nostra is so firmly entrenched in that country’s governmental affairs that any attempt to root it out results in bureaucratic stonewalling and a rash of cold-blooded assassinations. The mafia itself is presented as a highly structured and ruthless organization that maintains its economic stranglehold through a mixture of intimidation, bribes, and murder. Turco recounts the story of two brave magistrates who painstakingly gathered evidence in order to bring hundreds of Mafiosi to justice in Italy’s trial of the century. They later paid for their honesty with their lives and most of the convictions they won were overturned. He uses a combination of grainy news footage and still photos to give his documentary a gritty realism that is complimented by a handful of articulate talking heads. Technically, it appears a bit disjointed in places and the narration is occasionally choppy, furthermore it could certainly use some tighter editing. Despite these flaws however it remains a fine example of objective journalism.

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