Though the film “Gomorrah” does indeed include underwear-clad men brazenly brandishing firearms about, the deeper message of the film resonates in every viewing, making this Italian crime drama a must-see for many students.
“Gomorrah” has been praised as a true portrayal of some of modern-day Italy’s problems and spans five plot lines, some interwoven and others entirely independent. The epic opens with the murder of members in a crime syndicate, and from there explores an almost vain hope to understand corruption and causes of such criminal influence.
Included are all the clichés (and some innovation): a timid middleman who constantly endeavors to save his own skin at the expense of others, a young initiate, a toxic waste worker who questions the ethics of dumping sewage on perfectly fertile farmland, a high-flying, low-riding tailor and the aforementioned gun-toting semi-nudists.
Cast members include Toni Servillo, Gianfelice Imparato, Salvatore Cantalupo, Gigio Morra and Alfonso Santagata. The movie was directed by Matteo Garrone and produced by Domenico Procacci. It was nominated as “Best Foreign Language Feature Film” in the 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards (2009) but lost to “Waltz With Bashir,” a documentation of a filmmaker’s journey surrounding a mysterious Israeli army mission in which he participated in the 1980’s, but has since forgotten about. Both films share marketing strategies that feature semi-naked men with rifles on posters.
This authentic cast comes together in a feature of startling scope. Such magnificence is rarely experienced; and certainly exceeds any expectations. After all, how profound can themes be if they use pasty white thighs, too much skin and the least attractive underwear models in a long time as media? Through all the twists and pistol waving, a nice story develops.
“Gomorrah” is currently being shown at very few, select theaters in the states, and though its U.K. official website, www.gomorrahmovie.co.uk, states its DVD and Blu Ray opening date was February 9, it is yet unavailable on Netflix. On IFC Entertainment, it is said to have opened Friday, February 13.