Written and directed by respected Italian director Marco Bellocchio (Fists in the Pocket), the political drama Il Traditore (The Traitor) follows 20 years in the life of Tommaso Buscetta, also known as “the boss of the two worlds”, the first great “pentito”, or informer, of the Mafia, who helped judges Falcone and Borsellino shed light on the organization of the Cosa Nostra and its bosses in Sicily. The film was selected to represent Italy at the upcoming Academy International Awards after its very strong reception in festivals from Cannes to Toronto and received four nominations at the European Film Awards, including Best European film.
Popular Italian actor Pierfrancesco Favino (Miracle of St. Anna, A Night at the Museum), plays Buscetta, who helped to bring to light the existence of the mafia structure of Cosa Nostra, revealing its leaders, their ties to the political world and the existence of drug trafficking within the Italian-American mafia. A story made of violence and drama, which begins in the Eighties with the exile to Brazil and arrest of Buscetta, whose family was exterminated by its Mafia rivals, the Corleonesi. His extradition to Italy leads to the choice of collaborating with authorities and his eventual friendship with judge Falcone. His testimony against the leaders of Cosa Nostra during the so-called “Maxi Trial” in Palermo proved crucial and included explosive accusations against former Prime Minister and Christian Democratic politician Giulio Andreotti. In addition to Favino, the film stars Luigi Lo Cascio in the role of Totuccio Contorno, Marco Gambino in that of the prosecutor of Palermo and Massimiliano Ubaldi in the role of Giovanni Brusca. The score is by 1998 Oscar winner Nicola Piovani (Life is Beautiful).
Bellocchio says that his protagonist is “not a hero but a courageous man. We cannot forget that he was a criminal, a violent man and also a man who wasn’t scared of dying but didn’t want to die. Buscetta was a conservative, he would have liked to see the Mafia remain what it was in the past. He was an ignorant man, he had not studied but had a great personality, a charisma. He embodied the quintessential Italian man, he loved life, women, and he loved his wife even although he was cheating on her.”
Pierfrancesco Favino, who is offering an award-winning turn in the role of Buscetta, adds: “The film tells what happens to a man who decides that certain rules, by which he lived his life, don’t belong to him anymore and who, under attack, decides to exercise his revenge against this group of people, breaking one of the fundamental rules of the mMafia, “omerta’”, the code of silence.”