This Friday, in UK and Ireland, the film distributor Modern Films will release the documentary Shooting the Mafia, directed by Kim Longinotto, an intimate portrait of Italian photographer Letizia Battaglia. In Italy the movie will be presented December 1st.
Anthology will be part of the marketing campaign as competition prize.
“I was bare-handed, except for my camera, against them with all of their weapons.” – Letizia Battaglia
Exposing the Cosa Nostra’s barbaric reign, she bore unflinching witness to their crimes and has led a life continually defined by defiance and passion.
Sicilian Letizia Battaglia began a lifelong battle with the Mafia when she first dared to point her camera at a brutally slain victim. A woman whose passions led her to ditch traditional family life and become a photojournalist, she found herself on the front lines during one of the bloodiest chapters in Italy’s recent history. She fearlessly and artfully captured everyday Sicilian life—from weddings and funerals to the grisly murders of ordinary citizens—to tell the narrative of the community she loved forced into silence by the Cosa Nostra. SHOOTING THE MAFIA weaves together Battaglia’s striking black-and-white photographs, rare archival footage, classic Italian films, and the now 84-year-old’s own memories, to paint a portrait of a remarkable woman whose whose bravery and defiance helped expose the Mafia’s brutal crimes.
Letizia Battaglia is a gifted photographer and an irreverent woman. In SHOOTING THE MAFIA, we explore the story of this remarkable Sicilian, who has defied male authority, her society’s culture and the all-pervasive Mafia, her entire life. Letizia not only challenged and infuriated the Mafia by bravely photographing their crimes, but was also outspoken at a time and in a place where this was unheard of. We were determined to make a film that could do her justice. Working with our wonderful editor, Ollie Huddleston, we have woven together archive, classic Italian films, Letizia’s home movies, on-the-spot TV news, and our own filmed footage to take the audience on a journey through the life of this passionate woman. Letizia’s photographs are astonishingly graphic but they also, strangely, have a kind of heartstopping beauty. You can sense the resolve of the person behind the lens, a kind of clear-eyed reckoning of unpunished crimes. She is standing up to the bullies and showing great courage to reveal their cowardice. She is my hero for doing that. – Kim Longinotto
In the streets of Sicily, beautiful, gutsy Letizia Battaglia pointed her camera straight into the heart of the Mafia that surrounded her and began to shoot. The striking, life-threatening photos she took documenting the rule of the Cosa Nostra define her career.
“The Best Movies of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival” – Wrap
“Wonderful film. An intimate portrait of Letizia Battaglia, an exceptional woman, whose photography of the chaos sown by the Mafia helped bring change to Sicily.” – Los Angeles Times