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:: I Cento Passi

Having already achieved success in Italy with five Italian Oscars, and received plaudits at various European Festivals, this has been a keenly anticipated film. It’s an exceptional true story from Italy about the history of Peppino Impastato (Luigi Lo Cascio), a social and political activist. Director Marco Tullio Giordana tells the story poignantly and sensitively. It’s a case where a person, with growing support from friends and a worried youth society, looks for ways for a better standard of living in a Mafia-influenced region.

Set in Sicily in the late 1970s, the Impastato family, led by Luigi (Luigi Maria Burruano) resides in a small village important for drug trafficking. Luigi’s employers include leader Tano Badalamenti (Tony Sperandeo), who controls the trade and lives exactly one hundred steps from the Impastatos, thus the film’s title. It is the culmination of anger and morality that spurs Peppino to be heard as an opposing voice to the wrongdoings around him. He sets up a means of being heard by the village in opening a radio station. Here, he has the opportunity to vent his rage at Badalamenti’s methods, despite the probable impact upon his family. Peppino’s actions become very strong and the Mafia doesn’t usually lie down when criticised. Therefore, consequences have to be met.

The cast is excellent, with particular mention for Lo Cascio and Sperandeo. Lo Cascio, as Peppino, delivers a gritty and resolute performance while Sperandeo has been seen on many dramas. People in Australia may know him from the brilliant Octopus television series.

It’s a moving and powerful story, well directed and well photographed. Giordana has been making films in Italy for over twenty years and his experience allows a worthy story about a common subject.

Screening at Cinema Nova and Cinema Como