Saturday, August 19, 2006
An unromanticized look at the Mafia and its victims
Speaking of principled magistrates and their struggles against rancid politico-criminal actors and their bought-off cadres, I recently saw a powerfully moving documentary on the Italian judge Giovanni Falcone and his colleague Paolo Borsellino. Excellent Cadavers traces the lives and careers of the two prosecutors as they held the Sicilian mob and its political allies to account in the 1986-87 Maxi Trial, during which 360 Mafiosi were convicted of serious crimes. A film that strips away any romance surrounding an organization of cheap, criminal thugs, the movie's emotional punch builds up to its tragic climax, when Falcone is killed with his wife and three policemen by a bomb on a road outside of Sicily's capital, Palermo, on May 23, 1992. Borsellino was killed (along with five policeman) by a car bomb in Via D'Amelio less than two months later. A reminder that the struggle against impunity is not confined to far-away countries. The airport is Palermo is now renamed the Falcone-Borsellino Airport.