Olive Oil, The Mafia and the New Sicily

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Olive Oil, The Mafia and the New Sicily


How Sicilians are liberating themselves from organised Crime. | Duration: 52’ – Ratio: 16/9 – Format: Full HD – Available versions: English, French

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A strong desire for independence is at the heart of Sicily’s identity. Like the olive tree, which for centuries has been the king of the island’s agriculture. At the start to the 20th century, the Sicilians were under the rule of bandits, specialists in “the business of protection” who originally provided protection for olive growers during harvest time. When faced with the more invasive violence of the Mafia, the Sicilians were too intimidated to react and too afraid to rebel. Change only came in 1992, with the assassinations of the Palermo magistrates Falcone and Borsellino: they had been the symbol of the fight against the Mafia. These murders constituted a breaking point for the Sicilians. They understood that the Mafia was a curse from which they must rid themselves.

With some of the key players in the revival of Sicily, we will witness the changes which have been unfolding for several years. “Il dottore” Spatola, an olive oil taster, as well as the Gioia family, traditional Sicilian landowners, and the Vincenzo family who are practicing agro-tourism: they all will share with us their passionate belief in a new Sicily. Not forgetting Salvatore Gibiino, a member of the “Libera Terra” cooperative, an NGO that husbands land reclaimed from Mafia bosses reviving the olive and wine groves, producing organic crops. Visits to the Mafia “capital” Corleone as well as to the dilapidated districts of Palermo and to the rituals of the Day of the Dead at Valledolmo will remind us that the olive tree here in Sicily was witness to the birth of the Mafia and is observing its decline today.

Additional information

Weight80 g
Dimensions10 × 130 × 185 mm

52 mins