American Mafia Vs. Italian Mafia In Cinema

2631 words - 11 pages

The gangster genre within films in America has accomplished numerous positive criticisms and constant willing audiences due to containing outstanding spectacles and mind-blowing action. The Godfather, being second on the IMDb Top 250 Movies, has set a new popular concept to life within the Mafia from their point of view. Doing so, creating a positive association. Yet within Italy, the same topic contains a complete different view. Movies such as I Cento Passi demonstrate unenthusiastic view by those whom are outside yet negatively affected by those members. Unlike American films, the gangsters are not as often viewed at the protagonist and are the main causes for the problematic events. But how different is Italian Mafia and American Mafia in cinema?
The Godfather, which is one of the most famous American movies of all time, started out as a book written by Mario Puzo (published March 10th, 1969) and was later directed by Francis Ford Coppla in 1972 with the trilogies following in 1974 and again in 1990. The trilogies are seen as an epic tale of the Corleones, an Italian-American family, and their rise in and around organized crime.
The story begins as "Don" Vito Corleone, the head of a New York Mafia "family", oversees his daughter's wedding. His beloved son Michael has just come home from the war, but does not intend to become part of his father's business. Drug dealer Virgil Sollozzo is looking for Mafia Families to offer him protection in exchange for a profit of the drug money. He approaches Don Corleone about it, but the Don is morally against the use of drugs, and turns down the offer. Being this only request Don Vito has turned down, displease Sollozzo and has the Don shot down. The Don barely survives, which leads his son Michael to begin a violent mob war against Sollozzo and the other surrounding families which as a result tears the Corleone family apart.
I Cento Passi (one hundred steps), written by Marco Tullio Giordana in 2000, is a film of an explosive story of betrayal, murder, intrigue and the Mafia, set in Cinisi, a small Sicilian seaside. The town is run and controlled by head of the mafia, Don Tano. Peppino Impastato, a real character in history, fought against the mafia, despite his family’s connection and finally became a martyr for his cause. At a young age he became very aware of the harsh reality of the Mafia when his uncle, who he dearly loved, was blown up by a car bomb. He becomes a very active member of the Communist party in Sicily and fought back against the Mafia, which few Italians would ever do at the time or even in the present.
Thinking back to the first time watching The Godfather, the plot repeatedly wraps around the idea of family and business. Yet the two do not reflect the central theme of the film. “Death and betrayal are foreshadowed in the cryptic dialogue, the baroque, pathos-laced scenery, and in the very nature of the incestuous institution of family in La Mafia” (Russo p 37). Constantly...

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