Gomorrah provided such a jolt to the traditional movie vision of mafia life and the ersatz glamour of Cosa Nostra that it took a while for the excellence of this drama to be fully appreciated.
Adapted from a book by Roberto Saviano and directed by Matteo Garrone this is a sordid, soul-destroying parable (minus the moral lesson) showing the cycle of poverty that is perpetuated by organised crime, from those feeding off it at the highest levels of authority, down to street level lowlifes selling drugs, prostitution and death. We see the impact that their thirst for money and power has on those from the poorest neighbourhoods of Naples.
There is no pretence of romanticism, no classic soundtrack punctuating the drama – just a sobering collection of incendiary vignettes detailing how deeply ingrained and pervasive crime has become and how little opportunity for escape there is for youngsters born into these communities.
Gomorrah has since spawned a hugely successful TV series, but if you haven’t yet seen where it all began, this is the kind of film that will leave you feeling dirty after. Tough watching, but utterly brilliant!
Gomorrah Friday 9.00pm on Viceland.