The Sicilian Girl
There’s a powerful, reality-based story of manifest corruption and moral decay smoldering deep in this Italian drama that is intermittently dampened by clumsy plotting and stiff key performances. The source material, the diary of a Sicilian teenager (played by Veronica D’Agostino) who witnessed the murder of her idolized father by the Mafia and then relentlessly pursued avenues of first blind vengeance and then selfless justice in his honor, is a marvel of disturbing insight into confronting the tentaclelike reach and squeeze of organized crime. The decision of turning to the law or one’s own clan for protection and retribution is paramount here. Director Marco Amenta tries to personify that struggle, but a reliance more on melodrama than docudrama backfires and neuters the film’s judicial and emotional resonance.