search

The Sicilian Girl

A factual account of large-scale corruption

The Sicilian Girl

Marco Amenta, with a background as a photojournalist and documentary filmmaker, certainly brings valuable realistic elements to this fictional take on true events of the 1980s and ’90s that pitted a 17-year-old girl and prosecuting judge against the Mafiosi in her small village responsible for the deaths of her father and brother, Mafia members themselves.

While the tidily propelled story of The Sicilian Girl holds interest, it is young star Veronica D’Agostino, with her furious Anna Magnani-like intensity as tormented teen Rita Mancusa, that provides the pulse to this otherwise routine crime drama. The film’s main appeal lies with art-house fans and those familiar with veteran French star Gérard Jugnot (Paris 36, The Chorus), who plays the judge.

Amenta’s story begins in 1985 in a small Sicilian village where seven-year-old Rita, who adores her seemingly kind Mafia father Don Michele (Marcello Mazzarella) and older brother Carmelo (Camelo Garlati), records her observations, including many murders, in a diary. While Don Michele cares for peasants threatened with eviction by greedy Mafia landlords, he emerges over the next few years in the crosshairs of violent mob boss rival Don Salvo (Mario Pupella), who embraces the drug trade.

Rita prefers to see her father and brother as above such nefarious Mafia businesses, but it becomes clear they were no saints. Eventually, both become Don Salvo’s victims. First her father is murdered, followed by the discovery years later of her brother’s corpse in the harbor.

Overcome with grief and a compulsion to avenge so many crimes, the now-teenage Rita runs away from home to embark upon what she calls a “personal vendetta.” At first resistant to the prosecuting judge who will handle the case, Rita decides to cooperate after he accidentally discovers the diary she has been keeping.

Now in Rome in a witness-protection program, Rita is stripped of her identity. She leads a terribly lonely and paranoid existence, except for the friendship she forges with Lorenzo (Primo Reggiani), who works for the Judge.

Ready to expose Don Salvo’s crimes by sharing her diary entries with the authorities and even testifying, Rita cannot escape her tortured mental state. She is hardly soothed by her harsh, dismissive mother Rosa (Lucia Sardo), who viciously tells the daughter that she wanted to abort her. Nor does Rita’s love for childhood friend Vito (Francesco Casisa), whose loyalties tilt towards nemesis Don Salvo, ease her emotional troubles, although his affection for her continues through the years.

At the trial in Palermo, where suspected Mafiosi, including Don Salvo, watch from behind bars, Rita spills all. Her testimony leads to convictions, but they come with a terrible price.

Production values are all fine, but it is D’Agostino’s fiery performance that makes The Sicilian Girl worth the detour.

— D. Toumarkine, Film Journal International

The Sicilian Girl

Thu & Fri October 7 & 8, 2010, 7:00 & 9:15, Muenzinger Auditorium

Italy, 2008, Italian, Color, 110 min, NR, 35mm, 1.85:1 • official site

recommend

Tickets

10 films for $60 with punch card
$9 general admission. $7 w/UCB student ID, $7 for senior citizens
$1 discount to anyone with a bike helmet
Free on your birthday! CU Cinema Studies students get in free.

Parking

Pay lot 360 (now only $1/hour!), across from the buffalo statue and next to the Duane Physics tower, is closest to Muenzinger. Free parking can be found after 5pm at the meters along Colorado Ave east of Folsom stadium and along University Ave west of Macky.

RTD Bus

Park elsewhere and catch the HOP to campus

International Film Series

(Originally called The University Film Commission)
Established 1941 by James Sandoe.

First Person Cinema

(Originally called The Experimental Cinema Group)
Established 1955 by Carla Selby, Gladney Oakley, Bruce Conner and Stan Brakhage.

C.U. Film Program

(AKA The Rocky Mountain Film Center)
First offered degrees in filmmaking and critical studies in 1989 under the guidance of Virgil Grillo.

Celebrating Stan

Created by Suranjan Ganguly in 2003.

C.U. Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Established 2017 by Chair Ernesto Acevedo-Muñoz.

Thank you, sponsors!
Boulder International Film Festival
Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Looking for a gift for a friend?
Buy a Frequent Patron Punch Card for $60 at any IFS show. With the punch card you can see ten films (a value of $90).

Cover art for Spring 2 2022
Virtual titles to stream from home

Cox & Kjølseth
: Filmmaker Alex Cox & Pablo Kjølseth discuss film topics from their own unique perspectives.

Z-briefs
: Pablo and Ana share Zoom-based briefs on what's currently playing at IFS

Sprocket Damage
: Sprocket Damage digs deep(ish) into current and classic films and film-related subjects to bring to you insightful, humorous, and enlightening perspectives on the industry.

Search IFS schedules

Index of visiting artists