“Shooting the Mafia” Doc About Italian Photographer Letizia Battaglia

Shooting the Mafia is directed by British doc filmmaker Kim Longinotto. This premiered at the Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals this year. Cohen Media will release Shooting the Mafia in select US theaters starting on November 22nd.
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.

The doc film is a profile of famed Italian photographer Letizia Battaglia, the first woman to ever be employed as a photographer at a newspaper in Italy in the 1960s. She went on to take iconic photos of the Mafia and their many violent crimes during their worst era, receiving death threats and getting entangled in their world.

Here’s the official US trailer for Kim Longinotto’s doc Shooting the Mafia, direct from CMG’s:

(Shooting the Mafia | Official US Trailer)

Shooting the Mafia brings grit, texture, and a 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.

(WeTalk – Season 1 Ep. 18 – Shooting the Mafia: Kim Longinotto, Letizia Battaglia)

About Letizia Battaglia

Letizia Battaglia is an Italian photographer and photojournalist.

A portrait of Letizia Battaglia

Although her photos document a wide spectrum of Sicilian life, she is best known for her work on the Mafia.
Born in Sicily in 1935, Letizia Battaglia began her photography career in the early 1970s and started photographing the Sicilian Mafia in 1974, even receiving death threats.

As the photography director of L’Ora, Palermo’s left-wing daily newspaper, she or one of her assistants was present at every major crime scene in the city until shortly before the paper folded in 1990. From these assignments, Battaglia and her long-time partner, Franco Zecchin produced many of the iconic photographs that have come to represent Sicily and the Mafia throughout the world. 
She has won numerous awards, including the W. Eugene Smith Grant for Humanistic Photography and the Cornell Capa Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography.
Mary O’Donnell Hulme.

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