A most un-Godfatherly Mafia film, The Sicilian Girl is inspired by the real-life tragic account of a 17-year-old Sicilian girl Rita Atria and anti-Mafia judge Paolo Borsellino.
Directed by Marco Amenta, the Italian film is the gripping account of a gutsy young Sicilian girl Rita who goes to the prosecutor after her father and brother are killed by close Mafia relatives of the family.
The Sicilian Girl is not a glorified account of the criminal organization Mafia a.k.a. Cosa Nostra as prevails in America and parts of Italy in which mythology the group’s members are seen as brave outlaws protecting the neighborhood, its poor, weak and helpless whose pleas for justice are ignored by the powerful state machinery.
Au contraire, The Sicilian Girl is a family story.
Mind you, not the Family story.
Comprende the difference?
When The Family wreaks havoc in her little family, little Rita vows revenge.
Helpless to take on the powerful criminals among her close relatives, young Rita takes to her diary noting down all details, small and large of criminal events she observes.
Ultimately, it’s the diary that plays a powerful part in helping the prosecutor to take on one Mafia family in Silicy and bring them to justice.
But it also takes a toll on the young girl as she soon becomes estranged from everyone close to her including her realistic mother who is convinced nothing will change.
Remember, the girl is only 17.
For a change, in this film the Mafia members appear like your average criminal engaging in trading drugs, guns and other illegal activities. Nothing heroic about any of them.
Veronica D’Agostino, who plays Rita Mancuso in the film, is alright but we wouldn’t consider her an extraordinary talent.
Oftentimes, Veronica seemed far too melodramatic for our taste.
A better actress might have brought greater depth to the role of a young girl under tremendous pressure from two sides – the prosecutor and to the few that are close to her.
Also, she didn’t seem 17-year-old to us. Maybe, Italian girls mature faster. 😉
Far more impressive was Gérard Jugnot, who plays the prosecutor chief with extraordinary elan.
Ultimately, the real-life Rita and the prosecutor Paolo paid a heavy price for taking on the Mafia.
SearchIndia.com recommends The Sicilian Girl. You can stream it via Netflix if you live in the U.S.
Yes, this Italian film comes with English subtitles.