Director: Marco Bellocchio
Cast: Pierfrancesco Favino, Maria Fernanda Cândido, Nicola Calí, Luigi Lo Cascio, Fabrizio Ferracane, Fausto Russo Alesi
153 min – Italian, Portuguese with English subtitles (2019)
Marco Bellocchio’s dynamic drama profiles real-life mafia boss turned informer Tommaso Buscetta, whose whistleblowing on his former colleagues led to the largest prosecution of the Sicilian mafia in Italian history. The film opens in the early ’80s as Buscetta, looking to escape an escalating internal war among Cosa Nostra factions, flees Palermo for Brazil. When he is eventually arrested and repatriated to Italy, Buscetta discovers that his family has been decimated in a power struggle over the local drug trade. After striking up a rapport with Judge Giovanni Falcone, Buscetta agrees to testify against his former associates, resulting in the mass arrests of over 300 Cosa Nostra members and bosses.
While brilliantly capturing an epochal event in contemporary Italian history, THE TRAITOR is also a complex portrait of a man who, while believing that he has abided all along by a strict code of honour, can never escape his own misdeeds. Amongst its illustrious prizes THE TRAITOR swept up 6 awards at Italy’s 2020 David di Donatello Awards, including Best Film and Best Director.
A complex character study in a restlessly intelligent film.
Kevin Maher, Times (UK)
An authentic and very thrilling film about the mafia’s world.
Yasser Medina, Cinemaficionados
Most memorably, ‘The Traitor’ captures what it must be like to live your life looking over your shoulder and, given the brazen nature of the men’s appalling crimes, the absolute inevitability of their demise.
Emma Simmonds, The List
“The Traitor” is a massive self-contained microcosm: it exists just outside the realm of genre movie conventions and deep inside its unreliable protagonists’ hard-scrambled psyche. It’s a nightmare; it’s a gas.
Steve Abrams, Roger Erbert