Gomorra Italian theatrical poster
|Directed by||Matteo Garrone|
|Produced by||Domenico Procacci|
|Written by||Matteo Garrone
Gianni Di Gregorio
|Editing by||Marco Spoletini|
|Running time||137 minutes|
Gomorrah (Italian: Gomorra) is a 2008 Italian film directed by Matteo Garrone, based on the book by Roberto Saviano. It deals with the Casalesi clan, a crime syndicate within the Camorra — a traditional criminal organization based in Naples and Caserta, in the southern Italian region of Campania.
Plot summary 
The film opens with the murder of gangsters relaxing in a tanning salon. This shooting occurs between clans of the DiLauro camorra syndicate which rule Scampia-Secondigliano, and triggers the so-called Faida di Scampia (Scampia feud) which is the backdrop of the entire movie. The Faida erupts between members of the DiLauro syndicate and the so-called scissionisti (the separatists), who are led by Raffaele Amato, a brother of two of the killed men in the opening scene.
The film intertwines five separate stories of people whose lives are touched by organized crime.
Don Ciro (Gianfelice Imparato) is a timid middleman who distributes money to the families of imprisoned DiLauro clan members. After the feud develops within the clan, he is ambushed by a pair of angry scissionisti during a delivery. Fearing for his life, he later offers to defect to their side. They refuse his offer, and tell Ciro that he has to "pay" for his life by selling some of his former associates. He leads them to the location where he is given the money for distribution. The pair raid the place, killing everyone but Ciro, and take the money. Ciro quietly walks off to an uncertain future.
Totò (Salvatore Abruzzese) is a 13-year-old grocery delivery boy who witnesses some drug dealers abandon a bag of drugs and a gun while evading the police at Sette palazzi in Scampia. He returns the items to the gang, who take him in. His initiation in an underground cavern consists of him being shot while wearing a bulletproof vest as a test of courage. As the feud intensifies, families in the neighborhood whose loyalties are suspect are ordered to move out or suffer violence; Totò's fellow gang members receive similar threats. Later, while hanging out with his gang in the streets of Scampia, one of his gang is killed in a drive-by. The gang members decide to stand their ground and exact violent retribution by selecting a woman, Maria (Maria Nazionale), as their next victim, as her son has joined a clan of Secondigliano scissionisti. Totò, who has delivered groceries to Maria, is forced to lure her out of her apartment, where his comrades execute her.
Roberto (Carmine Paternoster) is a graduate who works in waste management. His boss Franco (Toni Servillo) illegally dumps toxic waste, such as chromium and asbestos, at abandoned quarries and other sites. During an operation, a drum of toxic chemicals is accidentally spilled on a driver. Franco refuses to call an ambulance, and hires children to drive the trucks when the workers refuse to continue their work. Roberto quits, upon seeing firsthand the effects exposure to toxic waste has on people.
Pasquale (Salvatore Cantalupo) is an haute couture tailor who works for Iavarone (Gigio Morra), a garment factory owner with ties to the Camorra. Pasquale takes a night-job training Chinese garment workers. As they are competing with Camorra-controlled firms, the Chinese drive him to and from work in the trunk of their car. His secret work is discovered nonetheless, and his Chinese associates are killed in a drive-by. He survives the attack, but feels forced to abandon his career, taking on a job as a truck driver. At a truck stop one night, he sees Scarlett Johansson on TV wearing one of his dresses.
Marco and Sweet Pea
Marco (Marco Macor) and Ciro (Ciro Petrone) are two young wannabe-gangsters who try to operate their own small racket independently of the local clan. Impressed by mafia portrayals from Hollywood movies, they quote lines and spontaneously reenact scenes from Scarface in Walter Schiavone's villa while dropping references to Tony Montana, Miami, and Colombians. Their first score is robbing African immigrants during a drug purchase at the famous Hotel Boomerang, Castel Volturno. The word of the incident gets to the local mob chieftain Giovanni (Giovanni Venosa, later arrested for trying to extract a pizzo - mafia tax - from businesses in the Caserta region), who summons them and warns them under threat of violence not to repeat such behavior in the future. Ignoring him completely, they spy Camorra gangsters hiding a stash of weapons. They steal the weapons and amuse themselves by firing off rounds by the banks of a Regi Lagni canal estuary in the marshland. Once they run out of money, they use their guns to rob a video arcade, and spend their stolen funds at a strip club, where the angry gangsters find them and threaten to kill them if they don't return the weapons within a day. The pair prove stubborn, so Zio (uncle) Vittorio (Vittorio Russo), one of the local gangsters approaches them in a bar with an offer to come work for him. He offers them €10,000 if they return the weapons and conduct a murder of Peppe O'Cavallaro, in fact uncle Bernardino (Bernardino Terracciano, later seized on suspicion of extorting protection money and having ties to the Casalesi clan, part of the Camorra mafia). They accept the offer, which turns out to be a trap, as they are ambushed and killed by Giovanni, Bernardino, Vittorio and others at the location of their supposed target, an abandoned beach resort next to Regi Lagni canal estuary. The last scene shows their bodies being taken away by a bulldozer.
Allegations regarding money laundering in the Twin Towers 
At the end of the film, statements are made regarding the activities of the Camorra. One allegation is that illicit money is being laundered through the rebuilding of the World Trade Center, "Gains from illegal activities are reinvested in legal ones worldwide .. The Camorra has also invested in the reconstruction of the Twin Towers". The film does not outline the actual mechanism of money laundering with respect to the reconstruction of the Twin Towers. The buildings and land at the site are owned and controlled by Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and Larry Silverstein. Silverstein is using his $4.55 billion insurance payout from the September 11 attacks for the reconstruction. A better understanding of Italian though suggests that the camorra has invested in STOCK regarding the reconstruction of the Twin Towers ("...azioni riguardanti la ricostruzione delle Twin Towers") which can suggest that the camorra has laundered money through Wall Street investments in firms that are involved in the reconstruction.
Critical reception 
Gomorrah has received widespread critical acclaim. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 91% based on reviews from 137 critics, with an average score of 7.7/10. Metacritic gave the film a weighted score of 87/100, based on 30 critiques, which it ranks as "universal acclaim". In reviewing Garrone's film based on the book, Christoph Huber wrote: "With its interest in moving beyond the categories of novel or non-fiction, Saviano's work has been identified as part of a heterogeneous strain of national literature, subsumed as the New Italian Epic. A term that certainly isn't disgraced by Gomorrah, the film.".
Top ten lists 
The film appeared on several critics' top ten lists of the best films of 2008.
- 2nd - Josh Rosenblatt, The Austin Chronicle
- 5th - Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times (tied with Happy-Go-Lucky)
- 5th - Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly
- 5th - Marc Savlov, The Austin Chronicle
- 6th - A.O. Scott, The New York Times 
- 6th - Wesley Morris, The Boston Globe
- 7th - Marjorie Baumgarten, The Austin Chronicle
- 10th - Empire
Awards and nominations 
The movie was premiered in North America on September 7, 2008 at the Toronto International Film Festival. It was nominated for the Palme d'Or and won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008. It won the Ari-Zeiss Award at the Munich Film Festival. The film was chosen by the National Association of Cinemagraphic Industries to represent Italy in contention for Best Foreign Language Film at the 81st Academy Awards. Despite the earlier success at Cannes, and defying expectations, it failed to be short-listed. On December 11, Gomorra was given a Golden Globe nomination for Best Foreign Film. Gomorra won five awards at the 2008 European Film Awards, including Best European Film in Copenhagen on December 6, 2008. The film also received seven awards at the 2009 David di Donatello Awards (Italian version of the Oscars). It was also nominated for the Grand Prix of the Belgian Syndicate of Cinema Critics.
Historical basis 
The film, following the book upon which it is based, portrays events identifiably similar to actual historical ones; for example, the Scampia feud. In the film's credits, the filmmakers thank the districts of Scampia and Torre del Greco, as well as the district and police force (Carabinieri) of nearby Boscoreale; these three suburban areas around the Bay of Naples feature cityscapes appropriate for filming this story. Also, the scene at the truck stop where Pasquale sees Scarlett Johansson on TV wearing one of the tailor's dresses is based on a portion of the book where Angelina Jolie wore a counterfeit dress to the Oscars. Garrone could not obtain that footage from the Academy and was forced to use this footage of Johansson at the Venice Film Festival in 2006 (even though reports indicate this was a vintage gown).
- "Ma si vene stasera" - Alessio
- "La Nostra Storia" - Raffaello
- "Brava gente" - Nino d'Angelo
- "Must Pray" - Pieter Vercampt
- "Macchina 50" - Rosario Miraggio
- "Ragione e sentimento" - Maria Nazionale
- "Un giornio d'Amore" - Daniele Stefani
- "Sadness (Part 1)" - Enigma
- "Esageratamente" - Anthony
- "O' schiavo e o' re" - Nino d'Angelo
- "Xiao Cheng Gu Shi" - Teresa Teng
- "Viento 'e mare (feat. Maria Nazionale)" - Matthew Herbert
- "L'amica di mia moglie" - Tommy Riccio
- "Finchè 'o sole me vo'" - Maria Nazionale
- "Herculaneum" - Robert Del Naja
- "Gomorrah Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved June 20, 2011.
- "Gomorrah Movie Reviews, Pictures". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved June 20, 2011.
- Christop Huber, "Gomorrah", Cinemascope #35
- "Metacritic: 2008 Film Critic Top Ten Lists". Metacritic. Retrieved January 11, 2009.[dead link]
- "Cannes winner misses out on Oscar". BBC News. 2009-01-14. Retrieved 2010-05-03.
- AWARDS WATCH '08 | "Gomorrah" Wins Five European Film. Retrieved December 6, 2008.[dead link]
- Premi David di Donatello | Vincitori 2009 Retrieved April 23, 2009.
- Official website (Italian)
- Gomorra at the Internet Movie Database
- Gomorra at Rotten Tomatoes
- Gomorra at AllRovi
The Mourning Forest
|Grand Prix, Cannes
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
|European Film Award for Best European Film
The White Ribbon