The Traitor

by Marco Bellocchio

The Traitor


In the early 1980’s, an all out war rages between Sicilian mafia bosses. Tommaso Buscetta, a made man, flees to hide out in Brazil. Back home in Italy, scores are being settled, and Buscetta’s allies are killed off one after another. Arrested and then extradited by the Brazilian police, Buscetta makes a decision that will change the entire story of the Mafia: He decides to meet with Judge Falcone and betray the eternal vow he made to the Cosa Nostra.


From teenage rebellion to religious institutions to political subversion, the films of Italian director Marco Bellocchio have explored the social and political contradictions of his country. His prolific 50-year career has been closely intertwined with the complexities and discrepancies of Italian history. Bellocchio’s works are known for being politically-engaged and often attacking symbols of Italian conformism. His darkly funny debut feature, 1965‘s FISTS IN THE POCKET, about an existentially-tormented teenager, is often credited with having anticipated the youth rebellion that would shake the foundations of Italian society. Throughout the 70s, Bellocchio‘s cinema explored the political tumult of the time. He denounced religion with 1971’s IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER and the military with 1976’s VICTORY MARCH. From the 80s on, Bellocchio’s films have often focused on coming to terms with a personally and politically turbulent past. He has questioned ideologies and moral issues and fought to make sense of his characters’ motives. He has confronted the conflict between the Church and the radical Left without aligning himself with either. His films compose a rich, fascinating and humane investigation of Italian life, whether modern or historical. Bellocchio was born in Piacenza, Italy, in 1939. In 1959, he suspended his studies in philosophy at Milan’s Catholic University to enroll at the Experimental Center for Cinematography in Rome. He made several short films in the early 60s and studied at London’s Slade School of Fine Arts. Bellocchio was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice International Film Festival in 2011.


2019 The Traitor
Sweet Dreams(Fai bei sogni)
2015 Blood of My Blood
2012 Dormant Beauty
(Bella Addormentata)
2010 Sorelle Mai
2009 Vincere
2006 The Wedding Director(Il Regista Di Matrimoni)
2003 Good Morning, Night
2002 My Mother's Smile(L'Ora Di Religione)
1999 The Nanny(La Balia)
1997 ThePrince ofHomburg (Il Principe Di Homburg Di Heinrich von Kleist)
1994 The Butterfly's Dream(Il Sogno Della Farfalla)
1991 The Conviction(La Condanna)
1988 The Witches'Sabbath(La Visione Del Sabba)
1986 Devil in the Flesh(Diavolo In Corpo)
1984 Henri IV(Enrico IV)
1982 The Eyes, The Mouth(Gli occhi, La Bocca)
1980 A Leap in the Dark(Salto Nel Vuoto)
1977 Il Gabbiano
1976 Victory March
(Marcia Trionfale)
1972 Slap the Monster on Page One(Sbatti Il Mostro In Prima Pagina)
1971 In the Name of the Father(Nel Nome Del Padre)
1967 China Is Near(La Cina è vicina)
1965 Fists in the Pocket(I Pugni In Tasca)


Pierfrancesco Favino
Maria Fernanda Cândido​
Nicola Calí​
Luigi Lo Cascio​
Fabrizio Ferracane
Fausto Russo Alesi​​


Directed by: Marco Bellocchio
Screenplay: Marco Bellocchio, Ludovica Rampoldi, Valia Santella, Francesco Piccolo
Director of Photography: Vladan Radovic
Production Sound Mixer: Gaetano Carito, Adriano Di Lorenzo
Original Music: Nicola Piovani
Costume Designer: Daria Calvelli
Art Director: Andrea Castorina
Editor: Francesca Calvelli
Composer: Nicola Piovani
Production Companies: IBC Movie, Kavac Film with Rai Cinema, Ad Vitam Production, Match Factory Production, Gullane Entretenimento

Technical Data

format DCP / colour / 1.85:1 / 5.1
length 153 min.
original languages Italian, Portuguese

Go back