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The Traitor (2020)The Traitor (2020)

The Traitor (2020)

An unglorifying character study of the first high-profile Mafia informant

Crime, Drama, Thriller

7.7

movie

Brazil, France

English, Italian, Portuguese

True-crime, True-story-based

2020

Marco Bellocchio

Antonio Orlando, Bebo Storti, Bruno Cariello

151 min

Synopsis

Palermo, Sicily, 1980. Mafia member Tommaso Buscetta decides to move to Brazil with his family fleeing the constant war between the different clans of the criminal organization. But when, after living several misfortunes, he is forced to return to Italy, he makes a bold decision that will change his life and the destiny of Cosa Nostra forever.

Our Take

7.7
Bilal Zouheir

This slow Italian drama tells the true story of Mafia boss Tommaso Buscetta, who became the highest-profile Mafia informant at the time of his arrest in the 1980s.

Tommaso, while supervising a criminal network in Sicily, moved to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to attempt a more legal and quieter life. His role catches up with him and he is quickly arrested.

As a biopic, it rarely depicts violence or glorifies organized crime. Instead, it attempts to document the life of a Mafia boss more realistically: a life of always looking over one’s shoulder and of constant loss. Eventually, the movie focuses on what it would take for a man like Tommaso to flip, and what that would cost him.

The Mafia topic might feel overdone, but watching this, it’s startling to realize how few thorough character studies have come out in film.

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