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NYFF: Gomorrah

NYFF: Gomorrah

The mafia: Is there any other organization, legal or illegal, that’s so benefited from the mythologizing power of the cinema? While engaging with such subject matter invites de facto vicarious thrills Italian director Matteo Garrone can never entirely shake—even in the post-Sopranos era he’s still dealing with a semi-hidden world that provokes wonder and fascination no matter the attempts to divest its players of the untouchable aura of outlaw beatification—he goes as far possible into the realm of the mafia’s unfeeling ruthlessness in his latest film, Gomorrah, without tripping over sentimentality or stylization. Gomorrah doesn’t intend to do much in the way of formal innovation, but this year’s Cannes Grand Prix winner might very well make its influence felt in its direct and unpretentious approach toward the nefarious activities of the Camorra, the enormous mafia empire that, according to the film’s closing titles, is responsible for the murder of some 4,000 people in the last 30 years, and has such formidable financial muscle that it’s even claimed a stake in the reconstruction of Ground Zero.

Click here to read the rest of Michael Joshua Rowin’s review of Gomorrah.

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