A Very Sicilian Justice
Taking On The Mafia
This film by Paul Sapin and Toby Follett is about the mafia in Italy. The life of a Sicilian judge Antonino Di Matteo is being threatened because he is chief prosecutor in an unprecedented trial against the mafia. Di Matteo now has an entourage of 20 bodyguards trying to keep him alive.
It started out with a flood of anonymous letters and documents that didn’t look like they were coming from the mafia, but from corrupt individuals working within the State. For starters, they were printed on official government paper and they heeded a warning that he should trust no one, not even his colleagues.
For the first time in Italian history, politicians, police and the mafia all stand accused together. The key witness is the son of a once powerful mafia politician. His name is also mentioned in all the death threats.
The trial is regarding events that took place about 25 years ago. From 1991 to 1994, the mafia organized a series of bombings and murders to force negotiations with the government. Those police officers and politicians that passed on the information and those who negotiated with the mafia allowed the gangsters to gain control of the country. This trial is of extreme importance because it could set the country free.
For decades the Italian State has had a toxic relationship with the mafia and nobody has had the courage to investigate it. That’s the reason why they are trying to get rid of Di Matteo. The risk is that those who were involved in the bombings and murders could be brought to justice.
The mafia has its hands in all kinds of businesses in Sicily: prostitution, arms, drugs, restaurants, constructions, and many others. Most shops pay extortion money. Few have had the courage to say no.
A former mafia assassin who has now become a State witness claims that he committed more than 30 murders. He candidly admits to killing, strangling, and burning people. He states that once a person joins Cosa Nostra, it becomes normal to kill even if they had never done it before.
For over a hundred years everybody pretended that there was no mafia in Italy. It wasn’t until the 1980s that two judges named Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino rose up and started prosecuting 475 Cosa Nostra gangsters. This was known as the Maxi Case. As a result, a season of terror began in which both judges were brutally murdered.
The mafia never kills public figures only in revenge. The ulterior motive is usually to eliminate a person who is about to discover something that shouldn’t be discovered. The mafia had infiltrated the government institutions and the judiciary system and Borsellino was about to crack it wide open.
The mafia is more than a group of men who are interested in bombing, blackmailing, and trafficking drugs; it is an organization that wants to exercise power in place of the State. Watch this now.