Sicily, As Seen By Damiano Damiani (2005)

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Produced in 2005, this hour-long documentary follows director Damiano Damiani across Sicily, revisiting locations and interviewing locals, asking them how much the Mafia’s influence has changed in the twenty years since he last shot a film there. Opinions vary, but all are agreed that it was Damiani’s films which helped shine a spotlight on the island’s problems with organized crime and brought the issue to much wider public attention. Alongside teachers, shopkeepers and mayors, we’re also treated to interviews with former cast and crew from his Sicilian productions, including Franco Nero, Florinda Bolkan, Giuliano Gemma and Michele Placido, with clips from The Day of the Owl, Pizza Connection, La Piovra, La Moglie Piu Bella, and A Man On His Knees.

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There is very little archival interview footage of Damiani around so it’s all the more puzzling that this seems so obscure. In many ways it reminds me of the recent Tomas Milian documentary The Cuban Hamlet which also seems to have have been granted one solitary late-night screening on television and then disappeared.

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