directed by Matteo Garrone
Not even a bullet proof vest will protect you from the scathing power of Matteo Garrone’s Gomorrah, an almost documentary about life under the Camorra regime in Naples, Italy. The book, penned by Roberto Saviano, provides a look into the world of organized crime in a way like you have never seen before, and the filmic adaptation knocks the hell out of all previous mob film efforts, period. Where other films, even the ones that try really, really hard not to, romanticize organized crime, whether overtly or subtly (subconsciously, even), Gomorrah simply acts as window into a world most of us are in no way aware of. Five stories of various facets of life under Camorra rule, from a man peddling toxic waste disposal land to a mob pay clerk distributing funds to families of imprisoned and offed gangsters, to a pair of boys with Scarfaced shaped stars in their eyes, weave a harsh and gritty tapestry about the bloody economics of a social structure built around brute force and crime. Gomorrah was a juggernaut of hype, intrigue, and scandal when it premiered, and it lives up to every allegation and assertion. Not only does Garrone direct his film with a shocking authenticity, he utilizes natives of the area, including a real Comorra crime boss (Bimbo) anxious for fame. Gomorrah is a true portrait of a world governed by sin, ruled by violence, and riled by a lost sense of respect.
For those of you looking for an analogy: Think of the mob film canon as the 82nd Academy Awards. Gomorrah is like Christoph Waltz, and all the other mob films are like the other supporting actor nominees. Tough luck, guys.