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HALTING THE MAFIA

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57'
One-off

How, in Sicily, civilians have begun standing up to the Mafia, defying the law of silence, racketeering ("pizzo") and death threats.

In the Sicily of clans and the "omertà" - the law of silence - they still form a minority, despite the successive downfalls of the bloodiest Corleone godfathers following major trials in recent years. Rebelling against the pizzo - the Mafia protection tax - remains a perilous exception. But since Judges Falcone and Borsellino were murdered in 1992, a group of Sicilian civilians have joined forces and refused Mafia law. These shopkeepers, industrialists, farmers and local officials have chosen to rebel, to support the work of judges and the forces of order, on a daily basis. Éric Jozsef and Jorge Amat give representatives of this group, ranging from the well-known to the anonymous, a chance to air their views. Interviewees include the priest Don Luigi Ciotti, founder of the "Antimafia Libera" association, Giuseppina Grassi, widow of the entrepreneur Libero Grassi, killed for having been the first to rebel against the Mafia tax, Rita Borsellino, sister of the murdered magistrate, Rosario Crocetta, the gay, communist mayor of Gela, and young people of Palermo from the "Addiopizzo" movement, which unites rebelling shopkeepers and shoppers who support them. In the Sicilian capital, several hundred shopkeepers have now joined the association. Some of them have had to learn to live under constant protection, because their lives are under threat. But their combat is vital, as Maurizio De Lucia, a magistrate from the Palermo parquet reminds us when he states that the mafia can only be beaten: "if the efforts of the State, via the police and the legal system, are relayed by civilian mobilisation."

Director(s) : JOZSEF (ERIC)

Producer(s) : ARTE FRANCE, COUP D'OEIL

Production Year : 2008
Language(s) : German, French

Rights : DVD, NON-THEATRICAL, INTERNET, TV, VOD

Territories : Worldwide.