"Perche' si uccide un magistrato" or "How to Kill a Judge" is
somewhat of an archeological experience, much like seeing Star
Wars or another 70's movie, 30 years later. Yet, the changes
borne by society at large during that time, and as shown in the
movie to the present, are perhaps not as great as what some
people might think.
Intended commercially as a Eurofilm (Italy, Spain, Portugal,
etc.) at the time, but dubbed in English for international
release eventually, this work is somewhat of an acquired taste.
It will be appreciated by those wanting to see some imagery of
the Sicilian country side, many cities that often appear very
similar to those found in countries of Roman influence. It also
is curious in its presentation of how public institutions
function and how public servants interact in that culture.
Another, perhaps more mundane and less glamorous aspect, is how
the movie suggests a closed-mindedness of the public at large,
whose imaginations, thought processes, rational building blocks
are dominated by the mass media's output in terms of newspapers,
magazines, TV, and yes, even movies, such that, the human
subconscience is not as objective, independent, or free from
manipulation as most people would like to think. At worst, with
a controlled, or limited mass media, human minds follow in step
with Pavlov's Dog, unless they seek out new facts, new
information, new sources, and balance facts out, to
independently form accurate opinions and assessments.
In this story, a director's movie turns Sicily upside down, as
it candidly spins a biographical tale of a high ranking judge,
who is immersed in the politics of the region, with economic
interests and power struggles and lobbies to boot. The director
actually becomes part of his own movie, as the town's reality is
then changed and shaped from its repercussions on the
part-fictional tale that the audience sees.
This movie will be appreciated by those keen on following
politics and how things sometimes are played out behind the
scens, or how jaded people they think they do, in some regions
such as Southern Italy, etc.
In the extras part of the DVD, Director Damiano Damiani explains
that the movie's goal wasn't clearly understood by all critics.
Perhaps the lack of humor in this work, had a lot to do with it,
as it's pretty dry stuff.