Screened as part of NZIFF 2016

Suburra 2015

Directed by Stefano Sollima World

This bloody, brutal crime saga boasts the epic sprawl of the mob classics it emulates, but with a lurid energy all of its own. With a throbbing score from electronic heavyweights M83.

France / Italy In Italian with English subtitles
135 minutes DCP



Riccardo Tozzi
Giovanni Stabilini
Marco Chimenz


Sandro Petraglia
Stefano Rulli
Giancarlo De Cataldo
Carlo Bonini


Paolo Carnera


Patrizio Marone

Production designer

Paki Meduri

Costume designer

Veronica Fragola


Pasquale Catalano


Pierfrancesco Favino (Filippo Malgradi)
Elio Germano (Sebastiano)
Claudio Amendola (Samurai)
Alessandro Borghi (Numero 8)
Greta Scarano (Viola)
Giulia Elettra Gorietti (Sabrina)
Antonello Fassari (Sebastiano’s father)
Jean-Hughes Anglade (Cardinal Berchet)
Adamo Dionisi (Manfredi Anacleti)
Giacomo Ferrara (Spadino Anacleti)


Rotterdam 2016


A rush of fresh blood to a fine Italian tradition, it doesn’t take long for Stefano Sollima’s enthralling new crime saga Suburra to transcend its familiar parts. As we begin, a crime lord (known only as ‘Samurai’) has started actioning plans to amass beachfront property for an Atlantic City-style gambling paradise. But as Sollima’s web of desperate players quickly spreads, it seems nobody is above getting their hands dirty for a piece of the action. Implicating a cast of politicians, prostitutes, crooks and clergymen (to name a few), Suburra relishes in playing its multiple threads against each other in brutal, unpredictable ways. Bribery, blackmail, kidnapping and murder are just a handful of plot turns to look forward to.

But as the bullets fly, Sollima is stringing up a damning portrait of Rome’s upper echelon, in which corruption rains relentlessly and it’s the everymen struggling beneath that get drenched. It seems the real-life resonances were felt too; Suburra proved such a sensation with audiences in its home country that Netflix immediately commissioned a follow-up television series for 2017. — JF

Suburra is an atmospheric, fast-paced thriller, which draws on an earlier Italian genre tradition that went missing in action somewhere in the mid 70s, one that managed to be stylish and a little vulgar at the same time. It also taps into another even older tradition, a vision of Rome, the Eternal City, as a decadent succubus, a sink of corruption where everything – sex, votes, even the priesthood – can be bought for a price.” — Lee Marshall, Screendaily