The true story of the death of Italy’s most wanted criminal and celebrated hero, Francesco Rosi’s groundbreaking political film is a startling exposé of Sicily and the tangled relations between its citizens, the Mafia, and government officials.
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Firstly, there's Sicily with its rocks, its heat, its poverty and its white villages. Then, there are Sicilians, women in black, shepherds dressed in rags, opportunistic Mafia Dons and corrupted police officials. At last, there's Salvatore Giuliano. He's the main character of the film but we only see him dead. A brilliant idea. Masterpiece.
I think all political films should be measured against this one. The structure is superb as the facts are presented almost like newspaper articles but the film always remains extremely cinematically intriguing. A masterpiece
Combining with admirable astuteness politics, epistemology (the construction of truth) and sociology (of the Sicilian stratification), Rosi's neorealist motifs are transferred to a formal language of stasis (an influence on Angelopoulos) with a circular narrative of regress: the initial frame of Giuliano is now occupied by the mafioso. With a stunning Pasolinian mourning scene, it's a monumental film about truth.
Interesting neo-realistic, quasi-documentary film with notable editing. But did it deserve the Best Director award at Berlin over Bergman's "Through a glass darkly"? The Swedish film was markedly superior. Scorsese likes it because he can identify with the Italian politics and sociology of that time. The Rosi film is good but overrated.
Incontestable chef-d'oeuvre du Septième Art, entre "documentaire" implacable, excellent film politique et imparable leçon de cinéma, qui confirme un réalisateur transalpin devenu désormais incontournable... www.cinefiches.com