Kim Longinotto profiles an acclaimed Sicilian photographer and her lifetime bravely bearing witness to the Mafia’s crimes.
World Cinema Documentary Competition
Sundance Program Description:
In the streets of Sicily, beautiful, gutsy Letizia Battaglia pointed her camera straight into the heart of the Mafia that surrounded her and began to shoot. The striking, life-threatening photos she took documenting the rule of the Cosa Nostra define her career.
Battaglia was quite the catch. She married young and had children, yet her restless spirit refused to renounce her passions. Breaking with tradition, she devoted herself to photojournalism. Battaglia’s lens was defiant: though her life was in danger she fearlessly captured everyday Sicilian life – from weddings and funerals to the brutal murders of women and children – to tell the narrative of the community she loved that had been forced into silence.
In SHOOTING THE MAFIA, Sundance Film Festival alumna and master filmmaker Kim Longinotto breaks from her vérité past and stunningly weaves together Battaglia’s heart-wrenching black-and-white photographs, rare archival film, and candid conversations with Battaglia herself. This audacious documentary brings grit, texture, and critical new perspective to Battaglia’s work and dismantles the romantic narrative of the Sicilian Mafia from the perspective of someone who lived inside it.
Longinotto previously picked up the World Cinema Documentary Grand Jury Prize for ROUGH AUNTIES and the World Cinema Documentary Directing Award for DREAMCATCHER.
This is the first Sundance credit for Lunar Pictures’ Fagan, an editor turned producer based in Ireland.
Combined recent past Sundance docs:
BISBEE ’17 (2018)
OF FATHERS AND SONS (2018)
OUR NEW PRESIDENT (2018)
WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR (2018)
BENDING THE ARC (2017)
Impact Films’ Co-Founder/Executive Director Cogan and VP Raskin hav regularly brought both documentary and fiction titles to the festival.
The Oscar and Emmy-winning co-founder of both Impact Partners and Gamechanger Films also executive produced fellow 2019 Sundance title ALWAYS IN SEASON, in the US Documentary Competition and produced THE GREAT HACK in Documentary Premieres. She previously executive produced the 2018 VR experience THE SUN LADIES VR and has served as a creative advisor for Sundance’s Catalyst Forum.
Recent past Sundance docs:
WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?
The Artemis Rising Foundation founder and CEO is an Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated social entrepreneur and philanthropist focused on transforming culture through media, education, and the arts. She also executive produced 2019 US Documentary Competition titles ALWAYS IN SEASON and KNOCK DOWN THE HOUSE.
This is Foster’s first Sundance credit.
Past Sundance docs:
IT’S NOT YET DARK (2017)
McKimm is the project manager of the Irish Film Board.
Past Sundance docs:
THE LIBERACE OF BAGHDAD (2005)
Why You Should Watch:
Longinotto long ago established herself as a nonfiction auteur, making any new work a must-see. While she adapts from her typically strict observational approach to incorporate the rich archive of Battaglia’s photography, Longinotto retains her usual focus on a determined female protagonist, and her sense of storytelling remains as sharply perceptive as ever.
For Sundance screening dates and times, click the film title in the first paragraph.