Corleone // Il capo dei capi

We went on holiday to Sicily in 2011 and fell in love with the food and the beautiful island. Earlier that year we’d watched The Godfather trilogy for the first time so knew a bit about the Mafia. The guide books mention the Mafia and Sicily’s past. In 2012 when Giorgio Locatelli did a 3-part BBC series on Sicily he mentioned the Mafia in Palermo.

But none of that can prepare you for what really happened.

We’re still on a free NowTV trial and along with Spy, 24 and The West Wing, hubby found a series called Corleone which was shown on Sky Arts. Obviously he recognised the title immediately as it’s the surname of the Godfather in the films so he suggested that we watch it. That was before Christmas. We kept putting it off because it said it was violent and I wasn’t really up for watching violence! Eventually we decided to start watching it. And we finished watching it within about two weeks. All 12 45-minute episodes. That’s how good it is. Much better, in our view, than 24 and The West Wing, both of which we only managed two episodes.

In Italian the series is called Il capo dei capi and was shown in 2007 in 6 long episodes. I’m no expert on films or TV series but so much of it was good: acting, food, music, scenery, occasional humour.

I didn’t know it was based on real events until we started to watch it. I assumed it was completely fictional, like the Godfather films. It is actually quite scary to see how the Mafia controlled things and killed people who got in their way (there are a lot of shootings). At the end of each episode we found ourselves saying, ‘shall we watch another one?’ because we wanted to know what happened next.

We banned ourselves from researching what really happened so that it wouldn’t spoil the series. I’m so glad we did this because it made everything a surprise, not always a good surprise, until the last episode when we already knew about the big event that happened in Palermo from the guidebooks and Giorgio Locatelli TV series (I’m not giving spoilers!).

If you can get past the shootings, swearing, subtitles and one scene with nudity, this is a really good, interesting and shocking series to watch. I would really recommend it. If you don’t already know what happened in Sicily, don’t research it before you watch it. Wait until afterwards, like we did, when we each spent half an hour researching different things and reporting back on what did and didn’t really happened. You’ll be surprised.

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