Scena del Crimine
Walter Stokman / Netherlands / 2010 / 74 min.
It's better to hear the sound of the prison gates than the bells in a church, says one of the young delinquents serving his sentence on the island of Nisida near Napoli. This is where the Dutch director Walter Stokman's documentary essay, mapping Neapolitan criminality, begins and ends. Instead of unravelling the complicated structure of local organised crime and omnipresent corruption, the filmmaker decided to listen to the stories of the ordinary people who commit crimes or those on the other side who try to prevent them. These people range from the bank robber Mauro, living behind the "invisible bars" of house arrest, to the unaffected Emanuella, who has already been a thief and drug dealer for 12 years and who is never far away from a knife wound, as well as police cadets and forensic specialists. Using impressive footage enhanced by disquieting music, the director constructs a highly authentic, occasionally poetic, and ultimately chilling portrait of this city under Mount Vesuvius. It is a place where everyday criminality and the everpresent influence of the mafia is an integral part of its inhabitants' lives.