True story of Sicilian mobster turned informant screens in Cannes

True story of Sicilian mobster turned informant screens in Cannes

True story of Sicilian mobster turned informant screens in Cannes

Written by Reuters

27 May, 2019 | 2:07 pm

Reuters – Italian auteur Marco Bellocchio and the cast of “The Traitor”, including leading man Pierfrancesco Favino, on Friday (May 24) attended the movie’s news conference at the Cannes Film Festival, where it is screening in competition.

The film tells the true story of Sicilian mafia Cosa Nostra (“Our Thing”) boss turned informant, Tommaso Buscetta, played by Favino.

In 1981 the murder of mob boss Stefano Bontate signalled the beginning of a two-year killing spree known as “The Slaughter”, in which Cosa Nostra boss Toto Riina sought to annihilate his many rivals.

Due to Riina’s savagery, hundreds of mobsters broke their code of silence in the 1980s and 1990s and testified against him at the so called “maxi-trial”, allowing magistrates Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino to uncover the long-hidden secrets of Cosa Nostra and prosecute its leaders for the crimes of its soldiers.

The turncoat testimony was a key component in Falcone and Borsellino’s landmark case against Cosa Nostra, which in January 1992 ended by holding mob bosses responsible for crimes committed by their underlings.

Riina’s January 1993 arrest, after more than 20 years as a fugitive, came just months after Falcone and Borsellino were blown up on his orders, and coincided with the tumultuous downfall of Italy’s corrupt post-war political system.

Cosa Nostra’s presence in Sicily is still felt, but its economic and political might has faded.

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