SHOOTING THE MAFIA
IRELAND, USA I 2019 I COLOR I 94 MIN. I ENGLISH, ITALIANO
“I took the camera at 40,” confesses Letizia Battaglia, an Italian photographer who in the 70s and 80s not only documented everyday life in Sicily, but also the brutality of the mafia and its effects on civil society. Three days after starting work at the newspaper L’Ora, Battaglia covered a murder. It was the first of many deaths that she captured as a photojournalist. The work of the Italian, who was the first woman photographer in an Italian newspaper, is the main theme of Shooting the Mafia, documentary by director Kim Longinotto. When Niamh Fagan first saw the impressive black and white photographs of Battaglia exhibited at the Anti Mafia Museum in the Sicilian city of Corleone, she was inspired to produce a film about her life. “She is one of those people who really did what many of us would expect to face the brutal and oppressive force”, Fagan thinks. “Sometimes there were five murders in one day; we had never seen similar violence. When I checked my negatives I only saw blood and more blood, all I thought was to burn all that. They threatened me with death. However, I think that fear should never condition us,” says 48-year-old Battaglia.
Review by: Carlos Rodríguez
Kim Longinotto | London, 1952
After studying English literature and writing at the University of Essex, Kim Longinotto studied cinematography and direction at the National School of Film and Television in Beaconsfield, England. The documentary work of the director is characterized by filming rebels and people who do not conform to what is requested of them. This is demonstrated by her films Divorce Iranian Style (1998), which follows three Iranian couples who want to divorce, and Dreamcatcher (2015), focused on Brenda Myers-Powell, who runs an association that encourages women to leave the sexual exploitation industry.