Customer Reviews: The Sicilian Girl
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on November 10, 2010
As a humanist, I despise settling problems with a gun. In rare cases it is justified - fighting the Nazis, let's say. But too often the gun is glorified in film. Not so, this story. It is the tale of a young women brought up in an Italian Mafia family whose father is gunned down by a rival in the "family." This happens when she is a small girl. Her brother tells her to be strong and pick the time to get revenge. Over time, Rita starts to document the meetings, killings, and conversations of the Mafia players with photos and notes in diary after diary. After her brother is brutally murdered, she gathers the courage to go public, go to the public prosecutor in Palermo, Sicily. This is a true story.

The result...the Mafia attacks the justice systems itself - killing policeman and lawyers for the government...and looking for Rita herself. To these hoods, killing is acceptable, even ordinary...but telling the truth to the police? Well, that's the most unspeakable crime from the Mafia's point of view. Yet this daughter of a crime family has the rare courage to do...just that.

This is really an extraordinary picture that reminds me of the "Battle of Algiers" in unraveling its story. None of the murders are depicted heroically...they are shown as the dirty, ugly crimes that they really are. There are some surprising revelations about the girl's father. The courtroom scenes are spectacular in an understated sort of way.

The acting throughout is believable and this was filmed on location. The picture even has a rough quality about a documentary. No bones about it, I thought it was one of the best films of 2010.

I dislike the romanticism of many American gangster pictures. For the truth, try "The Sicilian Girl."
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So many American movies glamourize the mafia as a sort of heroic bunch of tough guys, admired for their standup spirit and code of honor. This powerful drama shows how the real mafia behaves in its Sicilian homeland towards its own people. Poor farmers are murdered if someone desires their land. Neighbors are murdered for making a slight lapse of etiquette. Mafia associates are murdered over business decisions, or for revenge. There is nothing glamourous about it, it's just a sick way of life based in an impoverished and undeveloped land where a willingness to kill becomes the main "business asset."

The Italian public finally rebelled against this system over recent decades and has tried to eradicate it, but it's been a struggle which is yet to completely succeed. The mafia has fought back by corrupting high officials and murdering prosecutors and judges.

This movie is based on a true story from the early 1990's how a young Sicilian girl took on a whole evil mafia clan which had oppressed her village and killed her father and brother. She paid a big price for her courage and the Italian nation paid a big price including the assassination of officials. Not a happy movie but riveting throughout. Highly recommended.
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on May 15, 2011
There are quite a few fine reviews already written here... I just wanted to add my 5-stars worth.
I was drawn to this movie initially because my father's family is Calabrian (where we have our own bad guys, the 'Ndrangheta, but they're pretty much like the Sicilian Cosa Nostra).

So I started watching the movie for personal reasons, but found myself quite fascinated by this (approximately) true story. The direction and pacing I thought were fine, although the 'main' plot may develop too slowly for some. Ultimately, though, the main actor, Veronica D'Agostino, is so strong she basically carries the plot past any slow parts. Bear in mind, this is much more a melodrama than crime thriller (think "Godfather," not "Public Enemies"), but is also less sentimental about the Mafia-types than any movie I can think of.

La Cosa Nostra (and the 'Ndrangheta) are thugs and killers who are "honorable men" only in their own twisted minds, and Rita Atria -- the real 17-year-old upon whom this movie is based -- wanted the whole world to know it, even if it killed her.
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This movie played for a week or two at the Cincinnati "art theatre" (The Esquire) for a couple of weeks in 2010, and sadly I missed it, for whatever reason. I had been looking forward to seeing this, and I was not disappointed.

"La Siciliana Rebelle" ("The Sicilian Rebel", for whatever reason released in the US under the dumbed-down title of "The Sicilian Girl") (110 min.) brings the real-life story in the late 80s/early 90s of a teenager in Balata, Sicily who at age 11 sees her father, a Sicilian mafioso, gunned down by other mafioso. While she wants immediate revenge, her brother urges her to be patient and "build strength". While they do, she starts keeping detailed diaries of the events in the town, including the comings and goings of the mafioso as they build the drug trade. Six years later, her brother is brutally murdered by the same rival mafioso that killed her dad, and at that point she decides to go to the procesutor's office to get revenge/justice. A trial eventually ensues. The story then really picks up from there, and I won't spoil the plot. I will say that I was not prepared for the ending, which I did not expect at all.

This is a beautifully done movie, and the performance of Veronica D'Agostino as the 17/18 yr. girl is extraordinary, period. The movie received a number of recognitions and festival prices for both the director and the lead actress, although it was sadly overlooked for an Oscar nomination in the Foreign Movies category. Nevermind. This movie is highly recommended!
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on September 26, 2010
Its not often that I'll watch a foriegn film.Most times (for me) it is far too distracting to read subtitles and pay attention to the acting at the same time. Well, since this one was in Italian, it wasn't as much of a chore for me.Although my Italian is rough, I could still understand the majority of it even if it was spoken in Scilian, a bit different of a dialect than northern Italian.I remeber when all of this was happening in Italy back in the early 90's.I was there visiting relatives and traveling around Italy when many cops, prosecuters and judges were being assasinated by the mafia.It made the news every night someone was killed in connection to the trial.

Rita at then ten years of age in 1985 witnessed her father's assasination by rival mafia members. A war had started over control of money and the drug trade. Naieve to her own father's involvement at such a young age, Rita only remebers her father as the loving father and not the Mafia Don he was in his village and region.

Years go by, and Rita swears vengence upon her father's death and soon her brothers who also joins a similar fate. Through her adolescent years, Rita has both knowledge and witnesses the local mafia's dealings, comings and goings all the while taking pictures and recording these events in her journels. Now, at seventeen she decides to do the unthinkable.The one thing that no one would dream of doing or are too afraid to. Going against both her mother's wishes,family and the mafia itself she heads to Palermo to tell of all the things she knows bringing about the largest trial in history against the Sicilaian Mafia.

This was a great docudrama of one girl who had the courage in the end(and at a such a young age) of taking on some of the worst criminals in history. In the end, her sacrifice brought about the conviction and indefinate incarceration of dozens of mafia bosses and mafia criminals. Not for vengence, but for liberating and freeing the tight grasp that the mafia has so long held onto of Sicily's citizens. Well worth watching, check your local paper and theathers for this 2008 film now released here in the U.S. Its well worth watching on the screen, and even more worth purchasing to add to a great DVD collection.
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VINE VOICEon August 30, 2013
"The Sicilian Girl" details the true crime story of Rita Atria, a Sicilian who was the daughter of a Mafiosi. She saw her father killed (he didn't want to do drug business and was killed for it). Her brother was killed. Some of the things she saw, she detailed into her personal journals - much of which seemed to be verifiable.

Rita left Sicily to help build a case against the mob cheiftain who had her dad and brother killed.

I can't (or won't begin to try) to imagine the pressure she was under.

What struck me about this movie was the fact that all the women walked around dressed only in BLACK. Apparently, they stayed in perpetual mourning. And, we have reason to believe them. The family loyalty scenes also struck me, as when some of these men were finally being taken into custody, the women-folk would try to run interference, as if these men were TRULY INNOCENT.

Finally, if Veronica D'Agostino's portrayal of Rita is accurate, she, too, was a walking!

I won't give anymore of the story, but, please watch for yourself!

Recommended! (At the price listed, you can get yourself a copy - I did!)

I rate "The Sicilian Girl"...Four stars!
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on January 20, 2011
The movie narrates a true story from the point of view of a member of a powerful Sicilian family. It is suspenseful, realistic without being overly violent, moving. While Ecellent Cadavers describes mafia from the judges's point of view, and La Scorta does the same from the bodyguards'point of view, The Sicilian girl is about the fight of an innocent insider to see justice prevail. Every scene is masterfully orchestrated and every detail contributes to build the complexity of the main character who struggles in search of a new physical and emotional identity.
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on December 10, 2015
Interesting story, tepid performances. Gives some insight into the mafia and the people who make it up. Somewhat like Breaking Bad. Ordinary people, not masterminds. Girl's father is a Don, but she has an idealized view of him. Wild-west type justice. Another Don wants to do drugs. Her father refuses. She keeps a diary of events since childhood. The diaries are later used to prosecute "The Mafia". Needed better actors and director.
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on December 27, 2013
I was unsure of this movie when I initially found it on Netflix but once I started it I could not stop watching it. I love foreign films and I absolutely loved this film which is why I purchased it on Amazon. I think it's an amazing movie about a strong young woman who is not fully aware of how involved her family is in the Mafia. She's reluctant to trust the police and everyone she loves just keeps on dying. She figures out that the only way she can take revenge against the mafia for killing her loved one's is to testify against them in court. Great movie that I would recommend to anyone who does not mind reading subtitles and enjoys a good film.
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on December 2, 2015
There are so many movies about mafia. Just think of Thanksgiving season and almost constant re-runs of Godfather on cable TV. Do not take me wrong. I love these types of stories, no matter how brutal they are. I was always puzzled with the equal dose of brutality mafia engages in (that is never short of murder as a last resort) to unlimited expressions of love and devotion their nuclear family members feel for each other.

This film is based on a true story and true people. 17 year old Rita Atria spend her entire life living is a small town in Sicily. She witnessed her own father's murder and several years later came to discover her brother's body dumped in a sea. Her mother is crude and unloving and Rita is completely unaware that boy she loves is involved in her brother's murder. Rita's sense of justice is unrelenting and after experiencing an ultimate disrespect towards her family during her own brother's wake, she finds her way to Palermo and public defendant who she is convinced can help her put mafia bosses behind the bars for a long time.

It is a wrenching story of a girl who looses people she loves and cares about when she is too young. Her flaring temper and fact that she is a girl and has no means to take justice in her own hands pushes her to take measures that displays unusual strength of character and bravery.

Surely, her attempt to stop mafia, did not put their end in Italy or any other place anywhere else in the world. But for a time being, in early 80s, it put a dent in a world of criminals who traffic in anything that can bring them profit: people, drugs, stolen goods and their own sense of morality and social justice.
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