Our Godfather Review: A gripping real-life crime story

Our Godfather Review: A gripping real-life crime story

If you’re a sucker for crime stories, you’d find plenty of reasons to enjoy Our Godfather, Mark Franchetti and Andrew Meier’s gripping documentary on Tommaso Buscetta, the Mafia informant whose testimony led to more than 400 convictions. Having recently won over audiences and critics at its world premiere at Toronto’s Hot Docs festival; Our Godfather makes for a mostly fascinating deep dive into the world of Italian mafia and understanding the psyche of one of its highest-ranking figure who broke the code of silence known as Omerta, and the shocking events that followed. The documentary follows Buscetta, one of the top bosses in Italian mafia around 1950s and 1960s. With so many crimes to his names including murders, he moved to Brazil following the rise in mob wars in his native city. In Brazil, he continued living life criminal ways and married a girl who was 20 years younger. However, he was eventually arrested for drug trafficking and was extradited to Italy where he served a long prison sentence. While serving time, Buscetta became a key witness in several trials in Italy and the United States, and his testimony resulted in the arrest of over 400 mafioso. What really makes Our Godfather a gripping documentary, besides its compelling narrative, is the story of Buscetta and his family and the cost they had to pay for his actions. The confession tapes of Buscetta’s third wife, her children and his son who still live in anonymity are both riveting and shocking. It’s amazing to see that even after so many years since Buscetta became an informant, his family still lives in danger. His son Roberto, whose face never gets revealed in the documentary, admits to carrying a gun with him all the time even today. Our Godfather has plenty of archival footage to make the viewing even more engrossing, and some of the videos reveal crucial details about the Italian mafia that you’ll never find in public record. It’s easy to get judgmental and say Buscetta paid for his crimes and he deserved everything that happened in his life. But there couldn’t have been a more tragic and moving end to the life of a ruthless gangster who could never get over his guilt, especially the cost his family had to pay for his actions.

Rating: 3/5


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