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Excellent Cadavers is a documentary about the real Mafia: not the comical hoods of the Sopranos or the tragic warriors of The Godfather, but the historic, violent Sicillian gang that has flourished in Italy and the U.S. for more than a century, leaving bloody havoc in its wake. The focus is not on individual Mafiosi but on the Cosa Nostra as a powerful and amoral coporate entity, intimately emmeshed with Italian business and politics, and, on two brave, unshakeably honest prosecutors, Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, who battlled them in the courts for years, winnning hundreds of convictions, before both were assassinated. Sicily is one of the most picturesque of movie locations, and director Marco Turco takes full advantage of that here. One of his main interviewees is the gifted photojournalist Letizia Battaglia, who has recorded the Mafia's violent legacy in Palmero for decades, and uses her searing black-and-white shots evocatively and well. Cadavers is a rich mine of information on a subject about which it is sometimes too easy to be superficial.
A superb documentary.....worthy of Greek tragedy. People who enjoy mafia movies owe it to themselves to see it. --San Francisco Chronicle
Eye-opening. Anyone whose romantic illusions about the Mafia involve Michael Corleone and Tony Soprano would do well to watch it. --TV Guide
An engrossing, detailed history of the birth of and growth of the Mafia. It dismantles the celluloid romanticizing. --LA Weekly