Award-winning Italian film “Anime nere” (BLACK SOULS) Opens Friday, April 17 at the Angelika Mosaic and the Angelika Pop-Up Film Centers.
The film has received many awards. Among the most important: VENICE FILM FESTIVAL WINNER, AKAI INT’L FILM FEST AWARD – BEST DIRECTOR – FRANCESCO MUNZI, OFFICIAL SELECTION OF THE 2014 TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, 2015: GUADALAJARA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, MIAMI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, GENE SISKEL FILM CENTER EUROPEAN UNION FILM FESTIVAL, CHICAGO.
Based on real events described in Gioacchino Criaco’s novel, BLACK SOULS (ANIME NERE) is a tale of violence begetting violence and complex morality inherited by each generation in rural, ancient Calabria, a real- life mafia (‘Ndrangheta) seat in Southern Italy. The Carbone family consists of three brothers, Luigi (Marco Leonardi) and Rocco (Peppino Mazzotta) who are engaged in the family business of international drug trade and Luciano (Fabrizio Ferracane) who has remained in the ancestral town of Africo in the Aspromonte mountains on the Mediterranean coast – herding goats. His 20-year old son Leo (Giuseppe Fumo) has little respect for his farmer father, but idealizes his Mafioso uncles. When Leo shoots up a bar owned by a rival family with a longstanding blood feud with the Carbones, his reckless actions create trouble that brings the whole family back to Africo for the inevitable bloody showdown.
I made this film in a town that legal professionals and journalists stigmatize as one of the most mafia‐ridden places in Italy, one of the nerve centres of the Calabrian ‘ndrangheta: Africo. Africo, in the province of Reggio Calabria, on the Ionic coast has a beautiful coastline and is unknown to tourists. Rising up from the sea, are some of the most beautiful, untamed mountains in Italy – the Aspromonte. The landscape is marked by the anarchic building developments so indicative of the south of Italy. When I said I wanted to make the film there, everyone tried to discourage me: it’s too difficult, it’s inaccessible, it’s too dangerous. It was an impossible film. I sought help from Gioacchino Criaco, author of Anime Nere, the book on which the film is loosely based. I arrived in Calabria full of prejudice and fear. I discovered a very complex and diverse reality. I saw mistrust turn into curiosity, and people opened their doors to us. I mixed my actors with the residents of Africo, who acted and worked with the cast. Without them, this film would not have been as rich. Africo has a very tough history of criminality, but it can help us understand many things about our country. From Africo, we have a better view of Italy.