A Very Sicilian Justice

A Very Sicilian Justice

2016, Crime  -   6 Comments
Ratings: 8.74/10 from 86 users.

The quest for justice can be deadly. Just ask Antonino Di Matteo, the chief prosecutor in a high profile case involving police, politicians and notorious mafia hoods. In the heart of Palermo, Sicily, he attempts to persevere in his professional duties while navigating constant threats against his life. The documentary A Very Sicilian Justice, produced by Al Jazeera, follows him during this perilous phase of his life and outlines the long-running tensions between the rule of law and the cancer of crime in the region.

These dangers were foretold over two decades ago when two judges (Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino) attempted to take on the same Mafioso elements that currently occupy Di Matteo. Both were successful in shining a light on this underground world, and exposing a nefarious collaboration between the area's most feared criminal elements and its highest level political players. After they handed down convictions to well over 300 members of the Sicilian mafia, both judges were assassinated.

Determined to carry on their legacy of seeking justice at all costs, Di Matteo remains undeterred in spite of the overwhelming forces of power that seek to suppress his efforts. He receives a steady stream of anonymous death threats in his mailbox. Cosa Nostra boss Salvatore Riina, who is thought to have ordered the revenge killings of the first two judges that convicted him to life in prison, has issued a similar order of assassination against him. The political establishment is equally invested in thwarting the continuation of the case due to their fear of shaking up the status quo and the irrevocable destruction of their reputations.

But the ordinary citizens of Palermo have served as Di Matteo's main cheerleader throughout the difficult process. For them, the case carries a far greater significance than mere justice. Their long-hidden wounds must be opened and confronted before they can begin to heal.

Narrated with cool authority by actress Helen Mirren, and featuring emotional interviews with many key figures including Di Matteo and his central informant in the case, A Very Sicilian Justice is a suspenseful and surprisingly touching portrait of a proud community of people who risk their lives in an effort to transcend their history.

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Logan 46
6 years ago

What a wonderfully filmed documentary. I watched it today, and I can only hope nothing ever happens to Judge Di Matteo. You can see the man has aged significantly fearing for his life and his family on a day to day basis. Sad what happened to the other two judges in the 90's. I'm sure these brave men knew what they were getting into. The mafia/mafiosi have been around for a very long time, and it's something that may never, ever disappear so easily.

6 years ago

Di Matteo continues the legacy of too few Italian magistrates fighting too great a fight. He walked the groves of lemon trees and breathed in the air of his youth and then spoke of his fear and bitterness, the condition in which the State is complicit in having placed him. Di Matteo does this because, clearly, he has a deep and abiding love for Sicily., a truer patriot would not exist. The sadness that comes from watching one man's fight, alone and with a backdrop of state silence is palpable and shameful. DiMatteo carries the lantern of hope through the same dark passages that were previously trod by Falcone and Borsellino. Who is at the other end of the tunnel shining the light?

6 years ago

This story parallels the what the USA is going through today (2016). Our rogue government and international "mafiosi" have been co-opting the government for years.

6 years ago

Sounds just like our royal family and the royal families of many countries all based on greed , murders ,wars, assassinations, intrigue and deceit..and of course undemocratic into the bargain!

Last viewer
6 years ago

This already date back to some years ago.
While viewing this documentary, one need to bare in mind that the "So called" Mafia became an international organization rooted in most countries.
- Too bad they left that totally aside !
- It would have taken at most some 2-3 minutes to quote international stakes.
These mafiosi sure have international relations.
China, Japan and of course, the whole occidental Europe.
I don't see any reason to mention USA because it is the modern Mafia cradle.

The disease is part of humankind and cannot be eradicate.

6 years ago

Seeing all this dramatic scenery, how can crowds still go voting in the pools in politic parties ? Amazing.