Tuesday, September 16, 2008



Luigo Lo Cascio, Tony Sperandeo, Luigi Maria Burruano

Cinema 1, Shang Cineplex

One hundred steps was the distance between the Impastatos' house and the house of Tano Badalamenti, the local Mafia boss, in the small Sicilian town of Cinisi.

This Italian movie is the true story of Peppino Impastato, a young left-wing activist in the late 70s who repeatedly denounced Badalamenti for his crimes and the whole Mafia system using a small local radio station. At the age of 30 he was killed in a gruesome manner. His body (or what remained of it) was found tied to the railways after it was torn apart by explosives. The police deemed the case as suicide and an accident. A few sentences at the end of the film reveal that 20 years after Peppino's death, the case was re-opened and Gaetano Badalamenti was convicted for the crime. He was also convicted on charges of drug traffic in the US.

The film was well developed. It also focused on personal relationships, friendships and the progressive development of a small town in Italy. Although the film expounds on the feisty Peppino lambasting the local mob boss to high heavens through his radio show, we the audience are not privy to the actual machinations of the so called Mafiosi. We are never shown instances of violence or the actual commitment of a criminal act. It is all merely implied in Peppino's daily ramblings against Tano. In the same manner during that period in Sicily's rich history, the Mafia word was taboo to mention in public. People knew of their existence, yet merely accepted it as part of the cultural setting in the milieu of small towns. It took a brave young lad like Peppino to bring forth to his listeners the true nature of the Mafia system. It was a bit ironic since his own father, Luigi (a distant relative of Tano) was involved in some ways with the system.

This is a powerful contemporary history film which depicted the life of a young man who wanted to make a difference in this world. Yet sadly he had to pay for it with his life.

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