Gomorrah

Film Review by Steven Dalziel | 03 Feb 2009
  • Gomorrah
Film title: Gomorrah
Director: Matteo Garrone
Starring: Salvatore Abruzzese, Salvatore Striano, Toni Servillo
Release date: 9 Feb
Certificate: 15

Gomorrah is being released in the US under the banner “Martin Scorsese presents”, and while that director’s ouvre may explore the culture of the criminally inclined Italian working class, there is nothing to compete with the sheer brutality, unrelenting bleakness and stagnant despair at the heart of Matteo Garrone’s stunning film. Don’t let the grimness of the description put you off: this powerful investigation of Naples' Camorra crime syndicate is so richly layered, so intensely photographed and so forcefully driven that it grabs the heart from the first frame and never lets go. That may sound cliché, but it’s the only way to describe this visceral portrait. If it has precedents, they are not so much in traditional gangster films, but in European realism and underground documentary. There are no MTV gimmicks or sexy sharpshooters here: we bear witness to a way of life that is all too violent, all too futile and all too believable. [Steven Dalziel]