Ever since he published the book “Gomorrah” about the Neapolitan mafia Camorra in 2006, the Italian writer Roberto Saviano has been living under police protection and constant death threats. But that doesn’t stop him from continuing to cover this topic, and a few years after Matteo Garrone made a film based on the book in 2008, a series of the same name began to air. The “Gomorrah” series has been stretched for five seasons from 2014 to 2021, and we can see great how this mafia machine works in the neighborhoods of Naples. Before “Gomorrah”, I watched the rather disappointing series “Suburra” and these two series cannot be measured in any way.
Although “Gomorrah” also has certain problems (the biggest one is that after a while everything starts to turn around), it is far better and even more realistic, elaborate and comprehensive. Despite the fact that “Gomorrah” had the opportunity to become the Neapolitan version of “Wire”, probably the best series ever that dealt with this topic, but still failed, this saga about how this criminal organization from the south of Italy works is frightening and shocking. It’s not like I’m a mafia expert, but if I’m not mistaken, the Camorra differs from the Sicilian Cosa Nostra in that it doesn’t have a classic pyramid structure. There is not a single classic don in the Neapolitan Camorra who rules the entire organization, but the structure is horizontal. All these clans function separately from each other and there are frequent struggles for supremacy and territory.
So in the beginning we meet the Savastano clan ruled by the old don Pietro (Fortunato Cerlino), and their territory is the Neapolitan quarter Secondigliano. After Pietro ends up in prison, a struggle for supremacy will begin between the old guard in the clan and the new, young, even more cruel and bloodthirsty lions led by his son Gennaro (Salvatore Esposito). There is also Ciro Di Marzio (Marco D’Amore), an important member of the Savastano clan, and throughout the series we follow the struggles for supremacy in the Naples area. The story will soon move from Secondigliano to other parts of Naples and we will understand little by little how it works.
Various alliances will be formed and those in the blood will be broken. Various clans will try to take control of parts of the city, plotting and working on each other’s heads to make both Mr. and Mrs. Macbeth envious. And there is no end to it. One don was killed and several new contenders for his position were immediately found there. It is a brutal and extremely cruel world in which there is not a shred of mercy, and it is great that none of the characters are actually safe and it quickly becomes clear to us that just about anyone can be killed at any time. It is also a good concept that in some episodes the story is told from the perspective of a seemingly completely irrelevant character, and thus only expands the perspective.
With this series it becomes clear that the mafia is a part of life in Naples and that these two words are almost impossible to separate because we see how deeply rooted it is and that practically nothing can be done there without permission or with the approval of one of the mafia organizations. We see and unfortunately how all these criminals, dealers, gangsters, cold-blooded killers here are actually role models to kids from poor neighborhoods and how it is a system that has its own rules and laws. It is a system driven by greed and the desire for power and it is a vicious circle from which there is no way out and which has no end. By the end it’s all brilliantly rounded out, a cynical, brutal and shocking gangster saga about a terrifying hemisphere in which the price of life is very, very low. Rating 8.5 / 10.
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