DVD Review: The Sicilian Girl

The Sicilian Girl Movie Poster DVD Review:  The Sicilian Girl

The Sicilian Girl (2008) is an Italian film based on the true story of Rita Atria who, at seventeen, turned state’s evidence against the Mafiosi in her hometown after her father and brother were both murdered by them.  Rita has been hailed as a hero and also villainized for contributing to the convictions of dozens of Mafioso from her hometown.

The Sicilian Girl follows “Rita Mancuso” from the time she is a young daddy’s girl who witnesses her father’s brutal assassination.

2580059 DVD Review:  The Sicilian Girl

The film strays from the original story in a couple of minor ways.  First, it was actually Rita’s sister-in-law Piera Aiello who first went to the police after her husband, Rita’s brother, a Mafioso, was murdered.  Rita then followed her sister-in-law and told her story to the police.  The film makes no mention of the sister-in-law.  Second, when Rita’s mother found out she was speaking with the police, her mother threw her out.  The film makes it look as though Rita only left because her life was in danger.

Rita Atria first confided in magistrate Paolo Borsellino, who became a father-figure to her and Piera. She used to call him “Uncle Paolo.”  Borsellino, who later died in a car bomb, used to jokingly call the tough Rita a “Mafiosa in a skirt.”  He is represented in the film although the film portrays their relationship as being quite tenuous.

The film  is in Italian with English subtitles.  The acting is decent, particularly from veteran Italian actress Lucia Sardo who plays Rita’s disapproving mother. The picturesque parts of Sicily and Rome contribute to this old-world feel of the movie where generations of culture and tradition clash with the contemporary society in the early 90’s.  The isolation Rita feels after being ostracized by her family and living alone in hiding at such a young age is haunting.

Writer-director Marco Armenta is originally from Palermo which is the city where the film takes place. He also released an award-winning documentary about Rita in 1998 called Diario di una siciliana ribelle. I highly recommend this film, not just because it is based on a true story, but because the characters in the film risked their lives to bring many murderers to justice and their story deserves to be told.  Rating:  A.

The Sicilian Girl Trailer

0 DVD Review:  The Sicilian Girl

[Sources:  iReference, Newsweek]

pixel DVD Review:  The Sicilian Girl

More fun articles: