The Sicilian Girl (La siciliana ribelle) ~ (Italy, 2009) ~ Netflix Stream

Director Marco Amenta who had released a documentary on the same subject back in 1997, returns for a dramatization of The Sicilian Girl, about the brave Rita Atria, who at 17 years old took on the Sicilian Mafia. After having seen her father gunned down and then her brother, she had had enough, and wanted revenge. But revenge is what the mafia is all about, something she learned along the way. Later, her quest was for justice.

The film does a good job of depicting the strong clan ties that allow the Sicilian mob to enforce their strangle hold on its citizens. Even family is second to the mafia. The rationale for this reversal of affiliations would be that the mafia is their family: protector and arbiter. No other group takes precedence over the Sicilian mafia, not even blood ties. This is heart rendingly reinforced here, as Rita’s own mother disowns her, feeling she has betrayed her blood.

Rita fled to Palermo with her diaries, which she had painstakingly kept for years after her families losses. The months of moving from safe house to safe house, and the scorn of the Sicilian clans, and the court room antics eventually took their toll. But Rita got her justice in the end, though not without pain and loss.

Veronica D’Agostino as Rita. Her story and that of Paolo Borsellino is all true.

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