In his film, the director – born in Salento (in the far south of Puglia) but of Scottish origin – recounts the reunion between Lucia (Donatella Finocchiaro), the merciless leader of one of the factions of the Sacra Corona Unita (Sacred United Crown: the largest criminal organisation operating in the region), and Ignazio (Fabrizio Gifuni), a judge who returns to Lecce after working for several years in Milan. The latter doesn’t suspect the true identity of Lucia, whom he has always loved.
Both characters are unable to accept their attraction and are torn between their obligations and feelings. Lucia struggles to assert her position in a very macho world, while Ignazio is determined to put an end to mafia activity in the region.
At the press conference, Winspeare said he intended to make “a melodrama about a great love story”, giving lesser importance to the analysis of the mafia. He nonetheless defines the organisation as “the major cancer of this country, which is the most beautiful and, at the same time, the ugliest in the world”.
For the character of Lucia, Winspeare was inspired by the relative of an arrested mafioso. The director said he presumed she was “a victim of the events and her family, but essentially innocent. Until I discovered that she too was guilty of just as many crimes”. This is exactly what happens to judge Ignazio in the film.
Sergio Ríos Pérez cineuropa.org