This film tells of a low-grade gangster scam whereby the dirt poor of Palermo volunteer to have a leg or arm broken for insurance,
This film tells of a low-grade gangster scam whereby the dirt poor of Palermo volunteer to have a leg or arm broken for insurance, of which a good proportion is paid back to those who fix the procedure for them. Bound by a web of poverty themselves the various foot soldiers gather friends and acquaintances to the scheme, getting a handout themselves for the introduction. Further up the pyramid are the ones who do the breaking, paid a higher tranche of the money, the nurses who stay shtum for a cut, and at the top the capo with a degree, a glamorous wife, and a nice flat, who does little other than make the rules and scrape in the money. Vincenzo lives with his mother, a superficially sweet old lady, who reveals herself as a monster in front of our eyes and is the malign force behind the fall from grace of her son, which provides the moral tipping point of the film.