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The Traitor
Institute of Contemporary Arts

The Traitor, Dir Marco Bellocchio, Italy-France-Germany-Brazil 2019, With English subtitles, 152 min.

This riveting drama recounts episodes from the extraordinary life of Sicilian Mafia boss Tommaso Buscetta. Caught up in an internecine gang war, he is forced back from exile in Brazil to become the first Camorra capo to turn informant in order to protect his family. Ordinarily, this would make for an explosive, action-packed gangster epic. But in the hands of master director Marco Bellocchio (Fists in the Pocket, Vincere), it becomes so much more. In fact, The Traitor is nothing less than an epic retelling of late 20th-century Italian history. Directed with extraordinary authority, verve and skill, it is one of Bellocchio’s greatest films and invites comparison with Visconti’s The Leopard and Rosi’s Salvatore Giuliano.

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