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  • Gomorrah Season 2 Returns to America

    Sundance TV in the United States is airing the next chapter in the mob story that is Italy's No. 1 TV drama
    Our Paesani

    By Francesca Di Meglio

    Gomorrah is the story of the Camorra, the organized crime syndicate based in Naples, Italy. The TV show, which airs on Sundance TV on Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. ET, is based on the bestselling book of the same name by Roberto Saviano.

    The work of non-fiction caused a wave of reactions around the world when it first hit shelves in the early 2000s. Saviano, an investigative journalist, unearthed truths that many were not ready to shine a light on. In fact, he has been in hiding ever since its publication because his life is in danger.

    While Italians have already seen all of season 1 and season 2, Americans are only two episodes into the second season. (You can read recaps of the episodes at the Italian Mamma website.) Even though this is one of the most difficult shows to watch because of the graphic, heinous violence, I recommend it as must-see TV for anyone who has an interest in Italy. Discover why you should tune in:

    You will better understand Naples and Italy.
    People around the world romanticize Italy. But there's a reason for the economic stagnation and division between north and south. While there are other factors for both of these deep wounds, they are at least in part a result of corruption. Seeing for yourself just how much the Camorra has infiltrated Naples, not to mention other parts of Europe and the world, is eye-opening.

    The city is stunning.
    You will see the dirtiest, grittiest, ugliest side of Naples. But the juxtaposition – for example, of one of up-and-coming mobster's daughter flying a kite on the beach – will take your breath away. Since Italian TV is filmed more like movies, this is not filmed anywhere but where the actors claim to be. Most of the time they are right in Naples. It's like touring the city, even if you find yourself under a burning bridge (literally and figuratively).

    The acting is of the highest quality.
    All the actors are critically acclaimed and believable in the roles they have taken on. This is not the easiest task because the characters are truly barbarians. They also have had to change quite dramatically over time. This is especially true for the two stars, Marco D'Amore, who plays Ciro Di Marzio, and Salvatore Esposito, who plays Gennaro Savastano. The men, who began season 1 as friends and even mentor and mentee respectively, ended it as enemies. Their characters personally evolved in a way that demonstrated a deep rift but foreshadowed intertwined fates.

    This is what the truth looks like.
    Sometimes, the truth is downright painful. It burns. It stings. But looking that truth in the eye and admitting it is there in all its rawness is what brings about change. I'm not going to lie. It is difficult to watch people – desperate people, some of whom have good intentions – be driven to such evil deeds in the name of putting food on the table. There's not dignity. There's a hopelessness that leaves you feeling heavy for a few days after each episode. But it makes you grateful for your family's desire to seek out opportunity and honest work. It also makes you want to do something about the desperation and misery of the people you're family left behind in the homeland.

    Di Meglio has written the Our Paesani column for ItaliansRus.com since 2003. You can follow the Italian Mamma on Facebook or Twitter @ItalianMamma10.

    Article Published 5/07/17

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