Escort, The (La Scorta): Italian Film, Directed by Ricky Tognazzi (Ugo Tognazzi’s Son)

Small in scale, but effective is the Italian feature, La Scorta (The Escort), which I saw in Cannes two years ago, but is getting only now American theatrical release. This drama is directed by Ricky Tognazzi, son of the famous actor Ugo Tognazzi.

The protagonist is Angelo Mandolesi (Claudio Amendola), an Italian cop who returns home to Sicily to fight Mafia corruption. The judges investigating the crime organizations are either corrupt themselves or are pressured into cooperating. Angelo and a few other good men are assigned as bodyguards to the incorruptible De Francesco (Carlo Checchi). They soon find themselves totally isolated, as a network of forces that includes government officials, businessmen, the mob, and even journalists try to dishonor and undermine them.

There is a good deal of suspense and, for a change, flesh-and-blood characters that we can connect with. The scale is intimate, but the narrative is taut: everything in the film promotes its linear development. And considering that its subject matter is crime, there’s very little graphic violence in the film.