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Gangs of new cinema

PUBLISHED: 17:06 23 October 2008 | UPDATED: 17:11 16 August 2010

MOB CULTURE:  Matteo Garrone’s genre-redefining mafia movie Gomorrah.

MOB CULTURE: Matteo Garrone's genre-redefining mafia movie Gomorrah.

ADAPTED from Roberto Saviano s bestseller, Matteo Garrone s Gomorrah is a gritty genre-redefining expose of the Camorra, the Neapolitan mafia that controls much of the Campania region of southern Italy. While there is no coherent plot to speak of the fil

ADAPTED from Roberto Saviano's bestseller, Matteo Garrone's Gomorrah is a gritty genre-redefining expose of the Camorra, the Neapolitan mafia that controls much of the Campania region of southern Italy.

While there is no coherent plot to speak of the film follows five storylines each dealing with a different area of influence exerted by the all-powerful Comorra but all united by its cold, senseless brutality. There's Toto (Salvatore Abruzzese), a young, impressionable boy who is desperate to impress his elders in the mob.

Marco and Ciro (Marco Macor and Ciro Petrone), a pair of dreamers who quote lines from Scarface and foolishly think they can step on the toes of the area's don.

Over-worked and undervalued tailor Pasquale (Salvatore Cantalupo), who attracts the attention of his mob bosses when he takes on some lucrative extra work at a rival Chinese-run factory. Roberto (Camine Paternoster) - a fresh-faced idealistic graduate who lands a job working for Franco (Toni Servillo), who makes millions for the mob scouting out sites to dump toxic waste in and Don Ciro (Gianfelice Imparato), a beleaguered deliveryman who makes the rounds of the families of imprisoned Camorra to help them with their payments until the men return.

Each of the characters is struggling against the Camorra in their own way and all of them inevitably come off the loser.

Shot in a documentary style mostly on location in a giant near-derelict hellhole of a housing estate in Scampia, Naples, and populated with a mix of professional actors and locals, the film has a disturbingly realistic feel.

Garrone never attempts to glamorise the violence or detail the characters' motivations and the film is refreshingly devoid of gangster clichés.

With its power, and uncompromising portrayal of a society in which gangland executions are an everyday occurrence, Gomorrah is an unrelentingly bleak cinematic experience made all the more startling by its basis in reality.

l Gomorrah is out in cinemas now.

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