The Funeral

“The Funeral” by Abel Ferrara (1996)

In the 1930s, two brothers, New York underworld gangsters, reunite during the wake of their third brother and recount the history of their family.


“Tutti gli studi catto-litici che ogni cosa chi è in questa casa cosa che facciamo dia come cosa che si crede che faccia che fa la cosa diamo ciò cosa che dobbiamo dare ma, e giusta di alla gravia di Dio per fare cio’ che e’ giusto che faccia.”
“Cosi’, sei uno finese con tre protielli nel craniolo, e colpa di Dio?”
“Non mi vergogno per niente, non lo faccio io mondo.”
“Mia neanche fa’ quali per renderlo migliore.”
“Gia’, arrostiroror fa per mi giorni la grasia per cielo che e’giusto… e perche’ fa santo in ha Dio piu’.”
(Rey & Jean)


Ray Tempio: so bad and violent, seduced by Evil and damnably lost in sin.
He looks down on everything because he believes he has no responsibility, convinced that it’s all God’s fault, the Supreme Creator.
God made the world, after all. Ray can only accept his nature, do the job for which he was designed.
Just like when he first killed as a child, with the gun his father put in his hand. Because that’s how things go, because in the end, he’ll roast in hell.
And so, it’s just as well to get used to the idea right away, to react to his personal damnation with violence, fueled by the desire for revenge. Deciding the life and death of those around him, somehow getting closer, almost wanting to touch, in a morbid and arrogant way, that God he so much wants to blame.
That, that’s his personal sense of justice.


Abel Ferrara creates a dark and pessimistic film, using time in a circular manner, with continuous flashbacks alternating with the present and leaving no escape for the viewer (the opening scene is stunning in this regard).

“The Funeral” is a drama full of moral tension and devoid of any possible consolation, in which the protagonists believe they are free to choose based on their abilities, but are actually slaves to an ancient system that exudes ignorance and knows nothing but vengeance as a solution to human disputes.

If Christopher Walken, as often happens, is perfect in every single movement and facial expression, who truly surprises is Chris Penn, stealing the scene from everyone and earning a well-deserved Coppi Volpi for the best performance at the Venice Film Festival.

His character is mad and destructive: his eyes “scream” despair, his inconsolable spirit, free-falling towards the inevitable final tragedy.
“The Funeral” is a wonderful film that reaches epic heights.
It represents, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful things born from this director.
A must-see.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *