Black Souls

Black Souls
𝖽𝗂 Francesco Munzi (2014)

The story of three Calabrian brothers tied to the underworld and their impossible redemption.


“So, they see you different here, you seem different. They see you as half a saint, half a sinner, a mix of the two. They don’t understand that you are both a little bit of each.”

The Priest of Africo

The brothers, The Destiny.

Luciano is the only one left in Africo, in the heart of Aspromonte. A man of few words, shy and solitary, he still dreams of living off the land’s fruits, without necessarily having to deal with certain affairs.

His son Leo, however, is a hothead, without formal education, impatient with rural life and its rules, eager to move to Milan, to his uncle’s house.

Luigi, the youngest brother, earns a living operating in trade with South American cartels. He moves up and down Europe and has learned to deal with powerful and dangerous men.

Finally, there’s Rocco, now completely transplanted into a Milan that has become a crossroads of criminal business and drug trafficking. He’s a bourgeois, married with children.

He apparently condemns the actions and thinking of the rest of the family, but in fact, he has enriched himself thanks to money from criminal trafficking.


Munzi starts from the novel of the same name by Gioacchino Criaco and creates a powerful film, swollen with disillusionment and profoundly tragic.

A story as dark as the colors and photography (excellent) that accompany the images.

Something that makes the spectator fall, slowly but inexorably, into a claustrophobic universe that takes your breath away.

A place where men remain bound to dangerous values from an ancient culture and know, as the only answer, the violence of family feuds and oppression, to gain control of a territory.

And so, the air becomes heavy, the distances between the new world one wishes to belong to and the old one, become unbridgeable.

An example is the continuous use of dialect and the practice of certain customs that appear incompatible and anachronistic.

Only one possible solution remains, hovering in the air and looming over the already marked destiny of the protagonists.

A surprising, beautiful Italian film that does not judge but observes a reality deeply rooted in our country.

A work that would certainly not be out of place (for writing, staging, directing actors, photography, etc.) in comparison with other better-known American productions.

Winner of several awards including three Nastri d’Argento and nine David di Donatello.

Highly recommended.

Black Souls

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