realistic,’ Sollima told CrimeTimePreview. ‘Today, if you show this series to young people, they can’t believe it was true. For that reason, I put a lot of attention into the detail for costumes and the look of it. It was important to make it realistic. It’s the first time you can see what happened in Rome, normally a quiet city. The Banda della Magliana was historically exceptional. A group of people got the power in Rome and then they deal with part of the State and the Camorra. It never happened before, and now no one rules the city like they did.’ Shooting with handheld cameras, using overlapping violent scenes played out to pop classics by the likes of Iggy Pop and disco group Chic, with a style that relies heavily on landmark mob movies such as GoodFellas, Romanzo Criminale is an thought-provoking adrenaline rush through a frightening era of modern Italian history.
Watercooler fact: The Banda della Magliana operated during what Italians call the anni di piombo, or years of lead. This refers to the number of bullets that flew during the turmoil, which included a wave of terrorism carried out by right- and left-wing paramilitaries in which nearly 2000 murders were committed. The Banda along with other criminal groups and rogue secret service elements were all said to have been involved. The period, in which terror seems to have been used to maintain social obedience, is still shrouded in controversy and debate.