Rated R
Appropriate for ages 17+
Italian with English Subtitles

For centuries, organized crime has run rampant throughout Italy.  This film focuses on five contemporary stories about the Camorra, the Neapolitan mafia, and its connections with every level of life in Italy and the rest of the world.  From high fashion to toxic waste dumping, this organization has its fingers in every pie available to them.

Author/screenwriter Roberto Saviano has been put on permanent police protection from the Camorra for his book and film.  In this regard, I have no doubt of the film’s authenticity.  There are moments when the movie feels more like a docudrama rather than a piece of fiction.  This most definitely doesn’t feel like an Italian tourism promotion.

Normally I would not care too much for a movie with so many stories that are not interconnected, but I found most of the pic to be very intriguing and always enlightening.  What similar films like Babel and Amores Perros bring to the table are characters that the audience can associate with.  Conversely, Gomorrah only provides possible empathy with a master dress maker being heavily controlled by the mob and an assistant to a politician that is responsible for illegal toxic dumping.  The other stories are engrossing, but don’t be prepared to feel anything. 

Overall, the story is well-written and performed, although I think that the cultural differences might warrant some research before-hand or after in order to fully comprehend.  There were many aspects of the film that I really wanted to understand, but couldn’t get a grasp around, such as Don Ciro’s tale and the story of the young kid.  Most Italians probably get it right away, but that is only because they live it.  I found myself interested enough that I might actually have to buy the book in order to gain a more thorough knowledge of the subject.  Meanwhile, I must encourage those of you who enjoy either foreign movies or gangster films to head out to the Angelika and check this one out.  A-