We’d left them on the run. Lorenzo’s testimony on the murder of Boris Giuliano had induced Salvatore to immediately flee Sicily. A moment before the ferry set sail for “the continent”, far away from the threat of a Mafia vendetta, Salvatore had gone back ashore, realizing that running away was pointless and would have only meant letting them have their way: those who wanted to turn his island into an expanse of death and concrete.
The second season begins with this crucial moment, the non-escape of the Giammarresis, who return home, with one of those decisions that in Sicily can take on the flavor of a heroic and exemplary act: living a normal life. A difficult choice, one that becomes more and more difficult to stick to with every passing day. Because it clashes with fear, the dread of a possible mafia reprisal. Lorenzo is distressed; he fears that his family is in danger. Devastated by doubts, he wants to reconsider his decision and is ready to ask to be transferred to Northern Italy. He wants to leave this damned city and all its ghosts. But no one in the family wants to follow him: Angela wants to finally live her love story with Marco, Salvatore is still thinking about Alice and, faithful to his strict principles, will not accept to give in to the mafia. And what about Pia? She endures, tries to smooth things over and eventually, for everyone’s good, gives in: she lets the artful Massimo convince to her to accept an intercession that will allow her to obtain the teaching post she coveted. And the go-between is not just anyone, he is the mafia boss Tommaso Buscetta, who’s always had a thing for Pia. Lorenzo, overjoyed about his wife’s success, rolls over and accepts to remain. Everything seems to have fallen into place, but only apparently. Because from this moment Pia begins to be seized by deep feelings of guilt. And her hidden secret starts consuming her and her wedding, to the point of putting it into question. Whilst Massimo, the reluctant mafia man who would like to leave Cosa Nostra and resume a normal life, is forced to stay. Because favors must be repaid and you can’t just leave the mob… not alive, at least. A new life begins for everyone. Massimo bites the bullet and remains at the service of Don Masino, unconsciously becoming an important pawn in the drug trafficking business. And on his path, to complicate things further, he also finds a woman who makes him lose his head.
The timid Lorenzo musters up some courage and decides to try and take part in the public examination for a post in the Sicilian Regional Council, because the new leader of the island is finally an honest and determined politician: Piersanti Mattarella. The dream of change no longer seems an empty slogan, but something achievable. Even though not everyone in the corridors of power is playing on the Governor’s side, and Lorenzo soon finds out, at his expense. Salvatore, in the meantime, finds Alice again, whilst Angela – pregnant with Marco’s child – finds herself facing the greatest dilemma for a girl not yet eighteen. And as the situation of the Giammarresi becomes more and more complicated with each passing day, a dangerous wind of death starts blowing over Palermo. Cosa Nostra raises the stakes and sentences to death all the members of the institutions who hinder its plans. It’s the era of the high profile killings: bold magistrates such as Terranova and Costa are murdered, and Governor Piersanti Mattarella, the man who wanted to clean things up, sparking Lorenzo’s hopes, is also assassinated. The Corleonesi, the clan led by Totò Riina, besieges the city and Palermo’s mafia aristocracy is crushed as the shadow of a brutal mafia war looms over Palermo. And as a blanket of blood covers the city, the Giammarresi family has to find the strength to stay united and survive. This is the backdrop to the narrative of this second series, which will unfold respecting the truth but in the same style and with the same tone as the first season: digging into the humanity of the victims, demystifying the mafia stereotypes, bringing into the spotlight minor often little-known episodes, but emblematic of a war that has never really come to an end. Attempting with our characters to laugh at our faults and weaknesses; the same that have allowed the evils of our past to survive until the present day.
The second series of “The Mafia” features higher levels of difficulty compared to the first, from different points of view. The first of these concerns the second part of the title, “Chapter 2,” because it’s always difficult to repeat yourself when you did a good job first time round. The second reason is due to the actual narrative, which has moved on to delving deeper into the stories of the lives of our characters. The story of the Giammarresi and of Salvatore’s fantastic young friends merges with that of uncle Massimo and of Patrizia, but also that of Cusumano, Lorenzo’s colleague at the Register Office. And it’s enhanced by the presence of more characters, of whom I shall only reveal the names: Jolanda, Marina, Mr Pellerito. The “mafiosi” are also present, in even larger numbers, as this new chapter describes what is probably the bloodiest mafia war that has ever taken place in Italy. After this 1979, the mafia, which used to kill without making too much noise, trying to get rid of obstacles without appearing in the public eye too much, killing only in summer, begins to see murder as the only possible way of solving problems. Between that year and the next several servants of the state will be killed. In the series, we will remember… the magistrate and politician Cesare Terranova, the Governor of Sicily Piersanti Mattarella and the Chief Prosecutor Gaetano Costa. In the end, this time it’s them we talk about, along with the survivors, but only this time round, Rocco Chinnici and Giovanni Falcone.
Keeping the thread of this narrative was far from easy. No less because our “Mafia” is a comedy with the ambition of focusing attention on some more or less well-known criminal events to then talk about the mob from the point of view of common people.
This time more than ever have I felt like that tight-rope walker who strives, through his show, to veil the tragic nature of certain stories to convey, however, a deeper meaning. I wonder whether I’ve managed to make myself understood.
To those who’ve had the patience to read these direction notes, which always tend to be somewhat boring, to the end, I leave a paragraph written by Cardinal Pappalardo, the man who I think found the most precise and exhaustive words to explain the mafia. Reading them will help you understand our point of view and the stuff our narrative is made of.
“the mafia… is at once cronyism and favoritism. It means feeling secure because a friend or a group of people in high places is protecting you; it’s the assumption that one can do without the law and that one can break it unpunished. Typical manifestations of this attitude are: always wanting to do as one pleases… even in small things, in orderly everyday civic life; absenteeism from work; claiming career advantages or benefits to which one is not entitled; organized and protected tax evasion and so many other great and small plots and compromises, of various kinds, which always end up being to the detriment of the weaker and more defenseless members of society…”
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