Shooting the Mafia
(Ireland, 94 min.)
Dir. Kim Longinotto
Programme: Artscapes (Canadian Premiere)
Kim Longinotto turns her lens on Letizia Battaglia, an 83-year-old photographer who helped document the violence that has plagued her native Sicily. As one of the first photojournalists to cover the brutal mafia wars, Battagliia has become a fixture in local society, praised for her outspoken nature and keen eye. Unfortunately, Longinotto’s own work seems jumbled and uncertain, and never fully comes to grips with a subject who is admittedly reticent to truly open up about her work and passions. Jumping from era to era, the film never quite coalesces into a coherent portrait, resulting in a doc that is often more frustrating than illuminating.
This is all the more problematic as the subject seems ripe for a rich investigation – how the mafia itself used these tableaus of violence to send a message, in turn both manipulating and feeding off the media’s interest. Instead, Shooting the Mafia affords a genial if unremarkable look at a figure surely deserving of a better film by which her story should be told.
Shooting the Mafia screens:
-Tues, Apr. 30 at 9:30 p.m. at TIFF Lightbox
-Wed, May 1 at 10:15 a.m. at Isabel Bader
-Sun, May 5 at 9:15 p.m. at Isabel Bader
Visit the POV Hot Docs Hub for more coverage from this year’s festival!
Hot Docs runs April 25 to May 5. Please visit hotdocs.ca for more info.