Director: Matteo Garrone
Starring: Gianfelice Imperato, Salvatore Abruzzese, Carmine Paternoster, Toni Sevillo, Salvatore Cantalupo, Marco Macor, Ciro Petrone
Movies about gangsters, even those which see the gangsters as villains rather than anti-heroes, almost inevitably end up glorifying the lifestyles of their protagonists, even when they make it clear that that life is destined to end in a hail of bullets. These films depict men attaining vast power, living lavishly (usually with a woman – or two – on his arm), and sometimes dying gloriously. As Henry Hill puts it in Goodfellas, “to be a gangster was to own the world,” and all the bad stuff that goes along with the life is worth it because the alternative is being an average nobody. Matteo Garrone’s Gomorra adopts a distinctly different perspective from most mob movies, in that his film is very much a movie about “average nobodies,” men who occupy the bottom rungs of a crime syndicate and struggle to achieve little more than survival as a vicious mob war cuts down men and women left, right, and center. It’s a brutal and unsentimental film, and a great one.