Rome IFF: The courage of The Sicilian Girl

Article published on Oct. 31, 2008
Article published on Oct. 31, 2008
"Before fighting the mafia you have to examine your conscience and only after having defeated the mafia within yourself can you fight the mafia within your circle of friends. We and our bad behaviour are the mafia." Thus spoke Rita Atria, the young trial witness who killed herself seven days after the Judge Paolo Borsellino was murdered in July, 1992.
Marco Amenta loosely adapted her life in The Sicilian Girl, presented at the Rome International Film Festival in the Alice in the City sidebar.

The film tells the story of a young girl who grew up in a mafia family and who at the age of 17 turned herself over to Palermo’s Public Prosecutor in order to avenge the murders of her father and brother, telling all she knew. For the first time, a member of a Cosa Nostra family openly rebelled against the organisation. From that moment, her days were numbered.

"I grew up in Sicily. The facts I show were inspired by personal experiences, by my encounters with positive and negative people,” said the Palermo-born Amenta, who's previous work include documentaries and docu-fictions on the mafia. "I feel it is urgent to tell this story today, in an Italy that wants to fall into line with other European countries but which still cannot defeat organised crime".

In order to be as realistic as possible, the director chose an entirely Sicilian cast, including Veronica D'Agostino as Rita, Lucia Sardo as the mother who disowns her and Paolo Briguglia as a Carabiniere who works closely with the prosecutor. It is a shame that the latter role is played by French actor Gerard Jugnot – not because of any shortcoming on his part but because he is jarringly dubbed.

Produced by R&C Produzioni and EuroFilm, in collaboration with RAI Cinema, The Sicilian Girl will be distributed in Italy by Istituto Luce. International sales are handled by Roissy Films, which also co-produced the film.

Vittoria Scarpa