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The Good Mothers: women of ‘Ndrangheta as we’ve never seen before

The Good Mothers is a brand-new production that debuted in April 2023 and is currently catching everyone’s attention. The six total episodes may at first appear insufficient to adequately emphasize and expose the crimes committed by the Rosarno mafia and its environs. But everything worked out perfectly with Julian Arrold and Elisa Amoruso in charge. While admiring the Good Mothers’ acting, it is impossible to ignore the emotional struggles and family obligations that do not allow for a minimal amount of rights.
The agony is felt.
You can’t try anything else when you’re stoically staring at the television while attempting to fill the uncomfortable shoes of Lea Garofalo, Denise Cosco, Giusy Pesce, and Concetta Cacciolla.

You stand there, perplexed, expecting that a sliver of light will appear sooner or later. In the hopes that they will eventually be able to embrace it, you continue to listen to the calls for aid.

The cast and directors of The Good Mothers | Credit

A tough idea: describing the phony, vicious, and unchallenged world of the Calabrian mafia. An end result with bows that successfully portrayed women as playing pieces in a much larger game. They were money-making machines and nannies for boss sons. They are uncredited characters and lacked any moral standing and were therefore explosives waiting to go off at any time.
The only person who fully comprehends the crucial role played by women in mafia trafficking behind the curtain in this scenario is Inspector Anna Colace. These women had tremendous potential.

In court, they had all the evidence they needed to finally frame the people who deserved to spend the rest of their lives in prison. Giusy and Concetta were familiar with the system, how money was laundered, the hiding places of mafia bosses, and their behavior. However, the Good Mothers were most vulnerable, as they were worn out from feeling worthless and worthless objects.
They were eaten alive by the need for redemption.
It’s simple to open a breach when you’re thus vulnerable by taking advantage of your weakness. The authors wisely used this psychological rift as their trump card.

Anna Colace had the chance to approach the women of the ‘Ndrangheta on the side of the law by acting in the appropriate situations, with care, and with tremendous bravery.

As much freedom as possible in exchange for vengeance, atonement, and perhaps even betrayal.
They might have been the unseen Trojan horses. However, in these situations, time is of the essence, and there is only one shot at hand. The Inspector can’t go wrong.

The Actress: Simona DiStefano, Micaela Ramazzotti, Gaia Girace, Valentina Bellè | Credit

Staying or fleeing: a difficult choice

However, these women had to pay a price. Yes, there is always something to pay for if you want to be free. Despite not being poor, as time had shown, these women had nothing in actuality. They served households, husbands, and fathers like dogs. They raised kids, counted the money, and avoided trouble, all while living in the shadows. As much as possible within the home without any rights, not even the freedom to drop the kids off at school without having to check the clock constantly. There is a commonality among these ladies despite the percussion, disdain, and denigration. Loyalty.

The true one, though, is not the loyalty that you can sense in Carlo Cosco‘s voice.

None of them would have betrayed their family, not even to leave their home permanently and start a new life. From the perspective of the law, they were also victims of the dishonest game of silence, except for Denise and Lea Garofalo.
Anna Colace offers assistance in an atmosphere of deafening quiet, obedient submission, and pathological control. There is a cost associated with this, though. You must betray your family if you want to eventually get away from a world that doesn’t belong to you and despises you. In many situations, the peak’s highest point – which appears to be insurmountable – is a protected residence.

Anna Colace (Barbara Chichiarelli) and Giuseppina Pesce

These six episodes are a race against time, telling the horrific events that occurred in Rosarno between 2009 and 2010 on behalf of some of the ‘Ndrangheta‘ clans.

Why The Good Mothers is an excellent depiction of mafia cruelty

There are various things about The Good Mothers that I really enjoyed.
First and foremost, the almost eerie atmosphere and the practically forgotten villages of Calabria serve as the backdrop to these horrible occurrences.

The acting, the filmmaking, and the atmosphere make you feel like you are right there with them, experiencing their problems. Quite the opposite of many Hollywood movies glorifying the mafia. Hollywood’s too often depicted the mafia members as bad guys but also as heroes of some sort.
Mafia has no heroes in this series, the heroes are the women, the mothers who rebelled against. Showing the story from the point of view of women and mothers is new.

Mafia movies historically had actors like Joe Mantegna, Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Ray Liotta, James Gandolfini, Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio as main interpreters but our new heroes are Barbara Chichiarelli, Simona DiStefano, Micaela Ramazzotti, Gaia Girace, Valentina Bellè.

Scarface, starring Al Pacino. One of the most well-known Mafia films, but one in which the Mafia is portrayed as a hero | Credit

Carlo Cosco, father of Denise and Lea Garofalo’s husband | Credit

They left a space around them, keeping only a few loyal pawns nearby. Victims of the most perilous game, but with too much inside the system to escape.

The dryness and harshness of the souls of the ‘Ndrangheta bosses are what give these villages their light energy. Deprived of empathy, affection, and honesty, they cling to the allegiance they feel for others who are similar to them. But Rosarno is a small town, people talk…

In the midst of it all, the Good Mothers stand by, with bruises on their faces, broken hearts and eyes, and weapons constantly pointed at him.

It is important to note that not all women have been denied their bloodline. Certain women’s sense of belonging to this somewhat paternalistic mafia dictatorship makes the plot more interesting.

Poisonous relations

The Good Mothers who had the courage to sell did not have to protect themselves simply from their family’s men. Their mothers, like their sisters, kept their eyes closed all the time. These relatives joyfully embrace the family’s harsh impositions.
This condition does nothing but burns the earth around the main characters, who can’t trust anyone, not their fathers, not their mothers, and not anyone else with whom they share their blood.
The protagonists’ suspicions grow in this context.

They are the family’s black sheep, the family’s humiliation, the dregs. As in Giuseppina Pesce.
The situation is becoming increasingly dangerous. They must flee and begin to breathe again. It is not easy to break the bonds.

Giuseppina Pesce (Valentina Bellè) | Credit

They will have to choose whether to spend their lives floating in a sea of corruption, injustice, and murder or to seek a glimmer of light for themselves and, mainly, for their daughters. Although, breaking the bonds of the underworld may take a lifetime.

This series depicts a cross-section of female society’s underworld. On the one hand, there are some people who will go to any length, including death, to leave Rosarno and bid farewell to their family.
There are those who do not flee, who do not close their eyes to injustices but lack the courage to carry them out.

Take, for example, Aunt Marisa. She’s in the center, and she accepts her situation passively. She does not flee, and doesn’t attract attention. She is not a troublemaker. In a village like Rosarno, it may be the only option to live in peace without getting involved in the ‘Ndrangheta’s atrocities. Lea Garofalo, she will explain, was a woman with guts but no mind.
Yes, because in this world, anyone who challenges the ‘Ndrangheta is a fool.

A successful redemption battle

If you choose to give a part of your time to this series – which is well worth the time you spend in front of the television – this is a statement you will hear frequently. “How do you put up with this nonsense?” I’m not interested in living here“.
Continuing with the incidents, a sense of rising and indestructible defiance emerges in Denise Cosco. The constant and relentless search for further knowledge regarding her mother’s murder brings forth her true character.

Denise Cosco (Gaia Girace) and her mother Lea Garofalo (Micaela Ramazzotti) | Credit

She denies all paternal blood ties but with difficulty. She does not turn away from the rigor of the system that convicts Rosarno. Denise, who shares Lea Garofalo‘s bloodline, will flawlessly reflect her mother’s battling spirit and will be at the vanguard of the fight against the mafia clutches.

The series’ sluggish rhythm mixes wonderfully with the dark backdrop and the painful and sumptuous sounds. The silence is supreme. You can use your hands to feel the emptiness you detect in some scenes in rural communities. The same may be said for the isolated Calabrian villages, which wonderfully reflect the monsters of history’s lack of morals.

Fearful and in tears, the sheep can sometimes escape the wolf. It can only escape him if it sullies the family and seeks refuge in a safe house. Is this a desirable way of life? Is it worth it, or would it be better to die in the shadows? The Good Mothers of ‘Ndrangheta have honorably chosen to live their lives for themself and for their children’s future. Proof that the wolf can be imprisoned and left to fester if only the sheep has the fortitude to gaze up far enough.

Denise Cosco trying to escape the wolf | Credit
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