A socio-economic study of the Camorra through journalism, religion and film
Bellew, Robert Shelton
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This dissertation is a socio-economic study of the Camorra as portrayed through Roberto Saviano’s book Gomorra: Viaggio nell'impero economico e nel sogno di dominio della Camorra and Matteo Garrone’s film, Gomorra. It is difficult to classify Saviano’s book. Some scholars have labeled Gomorra a “docufiction”, suggesting that Saviano took poetic freedoms with his first-person triune accounts. He employs a prose and news reporting style to narrate the story of the Camorra exposing its territory and business connections. The crime organization is studied through Italian journalism, globalized economics, eschatology and neorealistic film. In addition to igniting a cultural debate, Saviano’s book has fomented a scholarly consideration on the innovativeness of his narrative style. Wu Ming 1 and Alessandro Dal Lago epitomize the two opposing literary camps. Saviano was not yet a licensed reporter when he wrote the book. Unlike the tradition of news reporting in the United States, Italy does not have an established school for professional journalism instruction. In fact, the majority of Italy’s leading journalists are writers or politicians by trade who have gravitated into the realm of news reporting. There is a heavy literary influence in Italian journalism that would be viewed as too biased for Anglo-American journalists. Yet, this style of writing has produced excellent material for a rich literary production that can be called engagé or political literature. A study of Gomorra will provide information about the impact of the book on current Italian journalism. The book was later made into a film with similar religious overtones. The film version, made up of five vignettes, serves as social commentary as explained through cinematic parables. Similar to Saviano’s book, Garrone has blurred the lines between objective documentation and artistic embellishment in reporting the Camorra malaise on Italian society.