Shooting the Mafia
Friday, 04.10., 4.00 pm, kommkino
Sunday, 06.10., 8.00 pm, Caritas-Pirckheimer-Haus
For a long time, the mafia ruled Sicily unchecked, and their crimes were invisible to the world. This changed in the 1970s, when Letizia Battaglia became Italy’s first photojournalist to document the brutal murders and the profound influence of the mafia. Her black-and-white images appear timeless and have lost none of their impact. In order to actively fight the Cosa Nostra, Battaglia entered politics from 1985 to 1996; this was the time of the spectacular anti-mafia trials held by the examining magistrates Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino. In her private life, Battaglia broke with social conventions: after a marriage that ended in an early divorce, she lived a self-determined life with a series of younger lovers.
Up to now, director Kim Longinotto has always filmed her own observational documentaries. For this portrait however, she and her long-standing editor Ollie Huddleston found a new cinematic form: using carefully edited excerpts from Italian cult films, she illustrates the youth and memories of the fun-loving Letizia Battaglia, thus creating a counterweight to Battaglia’s grim photos of mafia crimes.
Kim Longinotto was born in London in 1952. She studied Camera and Direction at the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield and has been realizing numerous documentaries since 1978, all of which put female rebels and outsiders in the center of attention. Gaea Girls, a film about two girls in a Japanese training camp for ring fighters, was Longinottos first work to be picked for the section Panorama Dokumente at the Berlinale. In 2013, Salma, a documentary about the life of Muslim women in South India, was also presented in this section. In 2015, Longinotto received the Directing Award in the World Cinema Documentaries Competition at the Sundance Film Festival for her film Dreamcatcher.