Mafia Is Not What It Used to Be

La mafia non è più quella di una volta

  • Franco Maresco
  • Italy
  • 2019
  • 105 min
  • Dutch Premiere
  • Masters

In Palermo, the Mafia murders of investigating judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino are still commemorated every year, although the commemoration primarily seems to be an event for opportunist politicians, and the festive parade does little to reflect the seriousness of the original crimes. Director Franco Maresco speaks to one of the people who find this infuriating: the internationally renowned photographer Letizia Battaglia, who documented Mafia atrocities over many years.

On the other side of the spectrum, Maresco follows Ciccio Mira, an organizer of third-rate concerts by Sicilian folk singers, who also starred in an earlier Maresco film. Mira seizes the day of remembrance as an opportunity to hold a totally inappropriate music event in one of the most notorious neighborhoods of Palermo.

Maresco’s critical, mockumentary-like view of a theatrical parade of bizarre figures, framed by lively music and a sarcastic voice-over, is entertaining but at the same time sad. Because what does Mira’s dubious, shameless duplicity really say about the long tentacles of the Mafia, and about Italy as a whole?


  • 105 min
  • color / black and white
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Italian
  • Subtitles in: English
Franco Maresco
Rean Mazzone for Ilapalma-Dreamfilm, Anna Vinci for Ila Palma Produzioni
Tramp Limited
Tommaso Lusena De Sarmiento
Edoardo Morabito, Francesco Guttuso

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