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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Salvatore Giuliano

A 1962 neo-realist documentary-style political drama, Salvatore Giuliano was directed by Francesco Rosi and follows the rise and fall of the titular character as well as the socio-economic situation in post-war Sicily.
The film starts as the body of Sicilian outlaw is discovered in a courtyard. From there on in, the movie is told in non-chronological flashbacks as local political leaders start recruiting outlaws in their fight for Sicilian independence after World War II. Salvatore Giuliano, a local young rebel, initially serves their purprose but as time progresses he starts becoming more of a criminal than a revolutionary and gets in the mafia's way as well as of those politicians who initially needed him, leading up to the events of his assassination and the trial in its wake.
A film so powerful and on the money that its release and popularity actually inspired a real-life investigation into mob-activity in Sicily, Salvatore Giuliano is maybe most noteworthy for the fact that the titular character basically does not appear on screen during the film's run-time except for his corpse after he has been shot. The film is far more interested in the political situation in Sicily at the time and the non-linear narrative combined with the neo-realist aesthetic give the movie a distinct documentary-like feel. Salvatore Giuliano won the Silver Berlin Bear for Best Director in Berlin, the Golden Globe for Best Film at the Italian Golden Globes and was nominated for five Silver Ribbons from the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists, winning three for Best Director, Screenplay and Score.