The Rooseveltian-socialist Italian governments spent the 60s and most of the 70si churning out Mafia-is-bad-mkay agitprop pieces (much like the Mussolini-socialist Italian governments spent the 30s and most of the 40s Cesare Mori-ingii all over the place).iii The result is a sorry lot, as you might expect, but among the detritus Mafiosoiv is arguably the tallest thistle.
Mafioso is built around the proposition that the honor system "dehumanizes" the individual, reducing him to the exact equivalent of the machinery he otherwise supervises. This nonsensical point is especially risque coming from the very socialists, for crying out loud, but then again as the inventor and first minister of socialist propaganda aptly pointed out, "lie thickly, if you try to lie thinly it won't stick." And so they do, supposedly the bureaucratic orataniev risen in the 50s on the ashes of the corporatist order of the 30s doesn't aim, fundamentally and explicitly, to reduce man to woman and human to instrument. No, no, it's those damned Republicans down South, it's all them, they made the poor technician into a simple extension of the rifle, to be packaged in pine boxes and ferried back and forth in a cargo bay. As the expression goes, if you can swallow that you can swallow anything.
The sheer ridiculous absurdity of the ideological engagement aside, the film's not poorly put together, either narratively or aesthetically. It also enjoys a certain documentary value (not just because where else would you see 1960s state of the art CNC mills at work, but also because they do take the trouble to put some kind of vraisemblance into their strawman, and consequently leak a little bit of actual information in the process).
There's worse things you could do with a little less than two hours, I guess.———
- Then Il Divo happened and well... they got Trump-stracted for a while. [↩]
- Do you know about the atrocities these schmucks commited, by the way, burning innocent people's crops, killing cattle and other wedding-bombing Afghanistanese ? [↩]
- The obvious impluse of the latter wave was the imminent integration of the island, to be done on US dough, just as the obvious impulse of the former wave was the unification of "the country", an imaginary construct with no basis in any kind of history known today as "Italy" for the convenience of the English speaking "allies". [↩]
- 1962, by Alberto Lattuada (minor "antifascist" rank-and-file socialist), with Alberto Sordi (minor comedian). [↩]
- Intranslatable term, describes either domestic fowl or else incomprehensibly dysfunctional biosludge (on two legs). [↩]