An extraordinary slice of life on Le Vele di Scampia in northern Naples – the much neglected large-scale 1970s public housing estate, stronghold of deadly organised crime.
With a largely non-professional cast, director Matteo Garrone (Dogman, Pinocchio) weaves the many threads of Robert Saviano’s non-fiction expose of the clan wars and levels of crime controlled by the all-powerful Camorra on the estate (and beyond). From pre-teenage drug runners to tank-fodder young assassins, Garrone focuses on the ordinary and everyday, the world where vulnerable young boys in particular get caught up in the seductive violence.
It’s bleak, it’s sombre, it’s shocking in its rawness and unadultered reality. Gomorra is no gratuitous fiction. In avoiding glamourising, Garrone holds a mirror to reflect the chilling horrors of life in the ruins.
(As a postscript, the authorities in Naples are demolishing three of the last four buildings, most of which remained incomplete since the 70s).