Director: Francesco Munzi
Cast: Fabrizio Ferracane, Marco Leonardi, Peppino Mazzotta, Barbaro Bobulova, Giuseppe Fumo
Duration: 108 mins
Country of Origin: Italy
Mature themes, violence, coarse language and drug use
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“Supremely eerie. That strange, conflicted tone of “operatic realism” that the critic and essayist Phillip Lopate found in the films of Luchino Visconti also runs through the core of Munzi’s film: there’s an almost theatrical grandeur to the plot, but moment-to-moment it zings with realism. Fans of Matteo Garrone’s Gomorrah might find this equally thrilling, and in its exploration of the supremacy of family when the chips are down, there are obvious comparisons to be drawn with Francis Ford Coppola’s first Godfather film. This is Munzi’s third picture, and one that should by all rights win him an appreciative international audience.”
Robbie Collin, THE TELEGRAPH
“Rich, dark and impeccably staged. A tale that paints southern Italy as a ruined kingdom, poisoned by its past and hopelessly tangled in outmoded ideals of blood and honour.”
Xan Brooks, THE GUARDIAN
OFFICIAL SELECTION – 2014 TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
WINNER – 9 ITALIAN ACADEMY AWARDS 2015 – incl. BEST PICTURE, BEST DIRECTOR & BEST SCREENPLAY
Based on incredible true events, Francesco Munzi’s acclaimed BLACK SOULS is the gripping story of a Calabrian Mafia dynasty, and one man’s struggle to escape his chequered past.
Luciano (Fabrizio Ferracane), the eldest of the three Carbone brothers, has turned his back on the drug operation that provided the family’s stature and wealth. Having washed his hands of the family, he now seeks a simple life with his wife and 20-year-old son Leo (Giuseppe Fumo), raising goats in their ancestral town of Africo in the Calabrian hills.
The problem is that the bored and restless Leo idolises his two charismatic, big-shot uncles Luigi (Marco Leonardi), still deeply involved in the narcotics trade, and Rocco (Peppino Mazzotta), the bespectacled mastermind of the family business. One night young Leo’s impulsive reaction to a trivial argument changes the course of all of their lives, pulling all three brothers into a simmering feud that threatens to explode.
Elegant, seething and expertly-directed, Munzi’s twisting thriller is a timeless fable of pride and power, father and son, brother against brother, and a powerful morality tale about the challenges of breaking cycles of crime and violence. Alternating between the cityscapes of Amsterdam and Milan and the rugged, dry hills of Italy’s south, BLACK SOULS is a fascinating insight into the alliances and questions of honour that disturbingly still prevail among Calabria’s mafia.