Out on DVD | Gomorrah

 Gomorrah - Italian crime movie exposes the brutal inner workings of the Naples Mafia

Young Italian journalist Roberto Saviano has been in hiding since his gripping exposé of the inner workings of the Naples Mafia, the Camorra, became a bestseller – and prompted the city’s gangsters to pass a death sentence on him. Watching the chilling Italian crime movie made from his book, Gomorrah, you can see why he now lives under 24-hour armed protection.

Filmed with matter-of-fact realism, the movie weaves together five stories from Saviano’s book to show how the Camorra exerts its terrifying hold on Naples. Following Saviano, writer-director Matteo Garrone doesn’t depict the leading Mafiosi, instead he focuses on the people in the lower reaches of the underworld: a middle-aged accountant who delivers funds to the families of jailed gang members, a young boy whose decision to join one faction puts him on the opposite side to his best friend, a pair of delinquents who fancy themselves as criminal big shots, a university graduate who has moral qualms when he becomes involved in the dumping of toxic waste, and a skilled tailor who is tempted by an offer to work for Chinese rivals of Mafia-controlled dealers.

Deservedly nominated for a Bafta, Garrone’s film has been scandalously overlooked by the Oscars. Perhaps Hollywood doesn’t like looking at the squalid reality of organised crime? (Released 9th February)

Read how Gomorrah’s gritty portrait of the Mafia contrasts with Hollywood’s dangerous glamour.