I Milionari, the rise and fall of the "good guys" from Naples
by Camillo de Marco
- Alessandro Piva’s film reconstructs the true story of one of the most powerful Camorra clans. Starring Francesco Scianna and Valentina Ludovini
Inspired by the great American gangster drama experts, Alessandro Piva wrote (with Massimo Gaudioso and Giacomo Gensini), filmed and produced I Milionari [+see also:
film profile] (lit. "Millionaires"), freely based on the eponymous novel by magistrate Luigi Alberto Cannavale and Giacomo Gensini. The book, the subheading of which is "The rise and fall of the men from Secondigliano", reconstructs the true story of one of the most powerful Camorra clans, by telling it like a novel.
The movie does the same, starring Francesco Scianna, Valentina Ludovini and some of the best Neapolitan actors of late, like Gianfranco Gallo, Salvatore Striano (Gomorrah [+see also:
interview: Domenico Procacci
interview: Jean Labadie
interview: Matteo Garrone
film profile], Caesar Must Die [+see also:
interview: Paolo and Vittorio Taviani
film profile]), Francesco Di Leva and Carmine Recano.
In the middle of the 70s in Naples, a gang of young men who grew up in the Secondigliano neighbourhood embark on a criminal career which, in just a few years, will bring them to the upper echelons of the Camorra. Ruthless murders, brutal vendettas and luxury in the shadows of one of the largest economic empires based on a federal model that controls everything; from inflated contracts to extortion, from the cement business to drug trafficking.
Born in Campania and bred in Bari, Piva found in Naples a backdrop of contrasting passions to delve into. "In this film there’s a specific focus on the characters’ psychology, for an audience that’s looking for something more profound than a TV fiction, a story that digs deep into what happened in Naples and in our country".
This is the analysis of a criminal ascent that results in detachment. "Because a life of crime, with its constant search for power, will inevitably, sooner or later self-destruct. Luxury and middle class life cannot coexist alongside fugitives hidden in the basement of an anonymous apartment. Some day we will see a crackdown on crime tolerance".
That tolerance and silence comes, above all, from the women who live with these criminals. "The wife of the protagonist embodies our era; the dawn of a systematic demolition of a range of values which meant accepting compromises; a form of culture that is most evident and destructive in Naples".
Production problems cost the director a lot of energy ("making movies nowadays is a millionaire’s hobby") and complicated the project. However, Teodora stepped in to back the project and will distribute the film in Italian theatres from the middle of November.
(Translated from Italian)