|Brutal – the lives (and architecture) of Gomorrah. Pics: Sky Atlantic|
Sky Atlantic: starts Monday, 4 August, 9pm
Story: Brutal Neapolitan crime organisation the Camorra wage a bitter war against a rival.
THIS PROBING look at the Neapolitan crime mob, the Camorra, is based on a revelatory and bestselling exposé by ‘vigilante journalist’ Roberto Saviano and follows a 2008 film adaptation of his book.
Gritty is an overused adjective when it comes to crime dramas, but Gomorrah has the social and economic context to pack quite a punch. It’s filmed in the grim suburb of Scampia, where mob drugs infect disintegrating 1960s housing estates and motorways cut off the area from the baroque splendour of Naples itself.
The largely unknown cast speak in a thick Neapolitan dialect and the series is a dark meditation on a dysfunctional world in which a man can have dinner and an espresso with his family, before going off to take part in a massed gun slaughter.
Marco D’Amore as Ciro
Pietro Savastano is a clan godfather who, as the action begins, sends his soldiers to teach Salvatore
|Powers on the throne – Don Pietro and his wife, Imma|
Conte a lesson after his drug dealing has infringed their turf. Ciro and his mentor Attilio set light to gasoline on the front door of Conte’s mother’s apartment while he’s there eating.
As retaliation follows bloodbath and further retaliation, the tensions in Don Pietro’s outfit are exposed. Ciro, played by Marco D’Amore, is unhappy at Pietro’s rash and ill-planned attack on Conte, which results in Attilio’s death.
Pietro is pleased to get the upper hand over Conte, but Ciro, an opinionated right-hand man, yearns for vengeance against their enemy.
The action scenes are shockingly convincing
Gomorrah is a 12-parter and has been a huge hit in Italy. Much of it is filmed verité-style on dark streets by Stefano Sollima, who also made the hit series Romanzo Criminale, and the action scenes –
such as the bomb thrown into a cafe – are shockingly convincing.
|Ciro and Genny|
The contrasts between the private family men and their brutality to outsiders, between the vast drug wealth and the squalor of Scampia, between the vulgar bad-taste mansion of Pietro and the desperation of his underlings are constantly absorbing.
This Sky Italia production is a cut above most crime dramas around at the moment, and will linger in your thoughts for some time.
Cast: Marco D’Amore Ciro Di Marzio, Fortunato Cerlino Pietro Savastano, Maria Pia Calzone Imma Savastano, Salvatore Esposito Genny Savastano, Marco Palvetti Salvatore Conte, Domenico Balsamo Massimo, Elena Starace Noemi, Antonio Milo Attilio O’Trovatello, Mimmo Esposito Renato Bolletta