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Excellent Cadavers

Distributed by First Run/Icarus Films, 32 Court St., 21st Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201; 800-876-1710
Produced by DOCLAB
Directed by Marco Turco
VHS, Color with b&
College - Adult
Crime, Criminal Justice, European Studies, Political Science

Reviewed by Jessica Schomberg, Minnesota State University, Mankato

Highly Recommended  Highly Recommended   
Date Entered: 6/7/2007

Based on the book by Alexander Stille, this documentary examines the history of the Cosa Nostra in Italy.

The film starts with the 1992 assassinations of Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino—prosecutors who successfully battled the Cosa Nostra within the Italian judicial system during the 1980s despite constant death threats and the reluctance of their superiors—and politician Salvatore Lima, a mafia ally. To solve the mystery of why Lima was killed along with Falcone and Borsellino, the film examines the history of the Cosa Nostra and the mafia’s relationships with Italian political and judicial leaders. It then returns to the 1992 assassinations before concluding with the role of the mafia during the Berlusconi regime.

Much of the film contains archival film footage and photographs of murder scenes, trials, political events and public protests. The narration is in English; the interviews are in Italian with English subtitles.

This very engaging, well-researched documentary may be of interest to students of modern Italian history, criminal justice, organized crime, and political ethics. Highly recommended for college and general audiences.