Italy • 1h 31m
Directed by Marco Turco • Documentary • 2006 • 92 minutes
Based on the book by Italian-American author Alexander Stille and featuring the photos of Sicilian photojournalist Letizia Battaglia, EXCELLENT CADAVERS chronicles the recent history of the Mafia and its integral—and seemingly ineradicable—relationship to postwar Italian politics. Whereas in the past the Cosa Nostra used to kill only their own, beginning in the Seventies the Mafia began assassinating prosecutors, judges and others who were fighting them, and thus began producing the "excellent cadavers," as Sicilian writer Leonardo Sciascia called them. EXCELLENT CADAVERS focuses on the efforts of two courageous prosecutors, Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, whose efforts in the mid-Eighties led to the Maxi-Trials in Palermo, where, in a heavily-protected underground bunker the size of a football field, hundreds of Mafia defendants were tried and convicted. The film features interviews with both Falcone and Borsellino (both of whom were assassinated by bombings in 1992), details their investigative techniques, and shows highlights from the Maxi-Trials, where informants confronted Mafia bosses, and mob 'soldiers' recounted horrifying stories of murders and mysterious 'disappearances,' including the dissolving of bodies in vats of acid. Through contemporary interviews with magistrates involved in these historic trials, archival footage, and Battaglia's shocking and heart-rending photos of public assassinations, EXCELLENT CADAVERS traces the history of the relationship between the Mafia and Italian politicians since the end of the Second World War, when the criminal Sicilian organization became a useful tool during the Cold War struggle against the Italian Communist Party. From the increasingly sophisticated nature of their international criminal enterprise, the periodic...
Up Next in Italy
Directed by Daniela Zanzotto • Documentary • 2002 • 58 minutes
At almost 40 years old, Sicilian photographer Letizia Battaglia decided that being a mother and wife, the thing that she was meant to do according to the society she lived in, just wasn’t enough anymore. With great inner strength, sh...
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Directed by Lina Wertmüller • Drama • With Mariangela Melato, Giancarlo Giannini • 1974 • 115 minutes
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