Salvo (Saleh Bakri) is an assassin for the Sicilian Mafia who decides to spare the life of Rita, a blind girl overhears her brother’s murder. His decision ultimately puts both their lives in danger.
In their feature debut, Antonio Piazza and Fabio Grassadonia deliver a more nuanced take on the mafia assassin genre. More concerned with imagery and atmosphere that blood and guts.
Salvo himself is the epitome of calculating effectiveness. Cold and ruthless in pursuit of his mark until Rita (Sara Serraiocco), the blind sister of one of his victims causes an existential crisis which causes him to let her live. His motives for this are never clearly explained, though his fascination with her inability to see the horrors he has committed give her a purity he rarely encounters in his line of work.
The cinematography in Salvo is outstanding, creating a stifling, oppressive heat on the streets of Palermo.
Mercifully steering clear of ‘hitman with a heart of gold’ stereotypes, Salvo is a stylish foray into the mafia genre. As a first feature
Like some of cinema’s best hitmen, Salvo is short on dialogue, but Bakri’s performance hangs not on a script but on the subtly created world that Piazza and Grassadonia have created around him. If this is a first feature, then it’s exciting to see what they will do next.
Directors: Antonio Piazza, Fabio Grassadonia
Starring: Saleh Bakri, Sara Serraiocco, Luigi Lo Cascio, Mario Pupella
Release Date: 29th September