Presented in the competition at Cannes, The Traitor is a suspenseful film that bares little resemblance to popular Mafia stories. In his highest-budget film, Bellocchio doesn’t hesitate to give audiences a raw reconstruction of brutal events instead of a romantic Godfather-style gangster story. At the center of it all is Tommaso Buscetta, a crime boss who violates omertà, the Mafia’s code of silence. He was the key witness in the best-known trial against La Cosa Nostra: The so-called Maxiproces led to the conviction of 362 mafiosi. This fascinating film investigation focuses on the transformation of Buscetta, for whom La Cosa Nostra—“This thing of ours”—took on a completely different meaning from what the bosses expected. It is important to note that the director doesn’t psychologize; he doesn’t guess as to the criminal’s intentions but rather paints a passionate sketch of a situation involving a man first prosecuted by the police, and later by the Mafia, and who spent most of his life in hiding. “What I like about this character is that he’s neither a victim nor a hero, Bellocchio told Variety. “He’s a very determined man, always on the run. He’s a survivor.
Born in 1939, Marco Bellocchio is an Italian director and screenwriter. He studied philosophy before taking up film studies in Rome. Already in his debut, Fists in the Pocket, he earned a reputation as a rebel with a keen interest in the family. In subsequent films, he criticized the bourgeoisie (China Is Near), schools (In the Name of the Father), the press (Slap the Monster on Page One) and the army (Victory March). In the following decades, he started making adaptations, including works by Chekhov and Kleist, and collaborating with psychoanalyst Massimo Fagiolim (Devil in the Flesh , The Butterfly’s Dream). He returned to form in the 2000s, especially in his intelligent satire on the Church, My Mother’s Smile (European Film Award); his settling of accounts with terrorism, Good Morning, Night (best screenplay award in Venice); and the drama Vincere, with its focus on Mussolini’s lover (winner of eight Donatello awards). In 2014, Bellocchio received a special David di Donatello Award for lifetime achievement.
1965 Pięści w kieszeni / I pugni in tasca / Fists in the Pocket
1967 Chiny są blisko / La Cina è vicina / China Is Near
1971 W imię ojca / Nel nome del padre / In the Name of the Father
1972 Dajcie sensację na pierwszą stronę / Sbatti il mostro in prima pagina / Slap the Monster on Page One
1980 Skok w pustkę / Salto nel vuoto / A Leap in the Dark
1994 Sen motyla / Il sogno della farfalla / The Butterfly's Dream
2002 Czas religii / L'ora di religione (Il sorriso di mia madre) / My Mother's Smile
2006 Reżyser ceremonii ślubnych / Il regista di matrimoni / The Wedding Director
2012 Śpiąca królewna / Bella addormentata / Dormant Beauty
2016 Słodkich snów / Fai bei sogni / Sweet Dreams