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The Traitor

“Based on the life of Tommaso Buscetta, the Italian mafioso-turned-informant whose testimony in high-profile trials in the 1980s and 1990s helped shed light on the inner workings of La Cosa Nostra and bring several of its members to justice, “The Traitor” is as just as brutal as you might expect from such a true-crime tale. Yet 80-year-old director Marco Bellocchio enriches the on-screen bloodshed with richly detailed performances and an unpredictable energy that lifts the period crime drama above a mere gangster flick.

“Pierfrancesco Favino stars as Buscetta, a “made man” who gets caught in the middle of the vicious heroin wars that bloodied Palermo streets in the 1980s. When the Sicilian drug trade heats up, Buscetta’s eldest sons are killed by a rival clan, as if daring him to return home. And after making a deal with Brazilian officials, it’s in Italy that Buscetta earns the film’s titular nickname, laying bare the mafia’s power structure to the authorities.

“For all the carnage, the film is even more volatile in courtroom scenes. During the trial, shouting matches turn the Italian justice system into what looks like a circus. If “The Traitor” proves anything, it’s that an 80-year-old filmmaker can still pounce.” - Washington Post

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