Berlusconi party wants film on his alleged links to Mafia banned


A documentary presented at the Venice Film Festival on the alleged links between Silvio Berlusconi and the Sicilian Mafia should be banned, a member of the former Italian premier’s party said Tuesday.


Belluscone: Una Storia Siciliana was screened Sunday in the experimental film competition of the festival. It features Palermo street singers, Mafia bosses and top Berlusconi aide Marcello Dell’Utri, who has been jailed for links to Cosa Nostra.

Senator Lucio Malan said it is “right and proper” for Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party to ask the judiciary to ban the film because it is offensive to Berlusconi, Italy and “the millions of people who have voted for him.”

Malan, speaking to the Klauscondicio web channel, said Italian filmmakers should focus on positive subjects rather than “indulge excessively on the Mafia and on Mafiosi.”

“They could also talk about what is nice in Italy,” he suggested.

Director Franco Maresco worked on Belluscone for three years, suffering a series of setbacks that led him to abandon the project and pushed him into a depression. The project was completed by his friend Tatti Sanguineti, a film critic.

Lara Comi, a Forza Italia lawmaker in the European Parliament, had other advice for Italian filmmakers: “They should rather shoot a film about how to find a job or how to reduce unemployment or how to cut red tape.”

Forza Italia’s protests came on the eve of the Venice debut of another politically sensitive documentary, La Trattativa. It looks at criminal investigations into an alleged secret pact between the Italian state and the Mafia in the early 1990s.




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