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The Traitor Review – Cannes 2019

For decades Marco Bellocchio has been making films dealing with important moments of Italian history, most successfully with Good Morning, Night, his look at the Aldo Moro kidnapping by the Red Brigade, and Vincere, about Mussolini. He’s back in Cannes with a film in competition, this time looking at the maxi Mafia trials of the 1990s, which led to a slew of convictions, in part thanks to the traitor of the title, ex-Cosa Nostra ‘soldier’ turned state witness Tommaso Buscetta.

Buscetta is played by the extremely watchable Pierfrancesco Favino, whose portrayal of this don is both highly credible and somewhat disturbing. The latter is not due to Favino’s performance, which is one of his best, but to the director’s choice to depict Buscetta as a man of honour. Instances of Buscetta’s past are glimpsed throughout the film, but there is little evidence of what this man

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