Shooting the Mafia (2019)
In the 1970s, Letizia Battaglia became the first female photographer in Italy to be hired by a major newspaper. And she attracted a lot of negative attention from the mob in her home town of Palermo when she first pointed her camera at a brutally slain victim.
She spent the rest of her career on the frontline of the battles waged by the Mafia in one of the bloodiest periods of Italy’s recent history. She not only photographed the victims of the Cosa Nostra, but also everyday life and joyous celebrations, to show how every aspect of life for the citizens of Palermo was coloured by the constant threat of the Cosa Nostra.
Now 84 years old, Battaglia herself narrates this documentary, which weaves together her original black and white photographs with archival footage to paint a picture of the Palermo where she lived most of her life.
The San Francisco Chronicle calls Shooting the Mafia “engaging” and “a compelling curiosity”, the Guardian calls it “a revealing story” and RTE Ireland says that it is “unflinching and it crackles with anger but it also finds great reservoirs of humanity among these deeply personal stories of loss and pain.”
IMDB rating: 7/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 73%