It’s not easy to summarize the plot of Gomorrah, mostly because there isn’t one. Rather than taking a narrative approach, the film simply follows a group of loosely connected characters around a grim Neapolitan estate ruled by the Camorra, the local mafia. Based on the 2006 non-fiction book by Roberto Savianno (who has been in police protection ever since), Gomorrah is a bleak, brutal film that pulls no punches and offers no easy answers. Indeed, such is the film’s commitment to realism that even Italian audiences needed subtitles to understand the heavy dialect it is filmed in.
If you sit down to watch Gomorrah expecting ‘the Italian Goodfellas’, you are going to be sorely disappointed. There are no characters to root for, and no compromises made for the sake of entertainment. And at no point in the film is it possible to vicariously enjoy the gangsterism being depicted. But that, surely, is as it should be. Real-life organized crime isn’t glamorous – it is a vile force that corrupts and destroys everything it touches. Gomorrah is a deeply powerful reminder of that. Watch the trailer here.