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A fresh take on the Mafia thriller, as a hit man takes a blind girl hostage.

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  • Directors-Screenwriters Fabio Grassadonia, Antonio Piazza
  • Producer Massimo Cristaldi
  • With Saleh Bakri, Sara Serraiocco, Luigi Lo Cascio, Mario Pupella
  • Italy 2013
  • 105 mins
  • UK distribution Peccadillo Pictures

An intelligent, distinctive spin on the gangster thriller, Salvo is already an award-winning film, that received the Semaine de la Critique top prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. The film begins, explosively, albeit traditionally, when a Mafia hitman (the eponymous ‘hero’ Salvo himself) is ambushed and decides to seek murderous revenge on the Sicilian boss who has ordered his assassination. In the process of executing his enemy, Salvo is confronted by Rita, a young, apparently blind, girl whom he cannot face killing so instead takes hostage.From then on, Salvo’s story becomes increasingly more complex and emotionally rich. Resonating with other cinematic influences (Hitchcock generally, Terence Young’s Wait until Dark and William Wyler’s The Collector particularly) but remaining contemporary and specifically Italian. It also has a freshness that perhaps emanates from the energy of its debut directing team. Salvo is also beautifully shot by accomplished cinematographer and director, Daniele Cipri.

Adrian Wootton

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