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Italian Crime Drama “Black Souls” Opens in Bay Area

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The Italian crime drama Black Souls opens April 17, 2015 at three theaters in the San Francisco Bay Area: at Landmark’s Opera Plaza Cinema in San Francisco, Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas in Berkeley, and Rafael Film Center in San Rafael.

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.

The film was actually shot in the Calabria region where the mafia activity took place. Directed by Francesco Munzi, who was nominated for both a European Film Award and a Donatello (Italian Academy) Award for his debut feature, Saimir (2004). His second film, The Rest of the Night (2008), played at the Director’s Fortnight in Cannes. BLACK SOULS was shown at Venice Film Festival, where it won multiple prizes; also at Toronto International Film Festival, Guadalajara International Film Festival, Miami International Film Festival, and the European Union Film Festival in Chicago. The film’s running time is 103 minutes; it is not rated. In Italian; fully subtitled in English.

Director Francesco Munzi says,  “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. 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. 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. 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.”

For further information, visit the film’s website.

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