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In their supremely assured debut feature, writer-directors Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza breathe new life into the time-honored genre of the mafioso thriller. While hunting down a rival who has ordered a hit on him, the titular gangster (a smoldering Saleh Bakri) invades a Palermo home, only to discover his prey’s blind sister, Rita (Sara Serraiocco), in the basement. The nail-biting, magnificently orchestrated game of cat-and-mouse that ensues, with its evocative use of sound, darkness, and offscreen space, sets the tone for the rest of this richly atmospheric work. When Rita’s sight is restored—from shock or perhaps some kind of miracle—Salvo is left to determine the fate of his prisoner turned love interest. Winner of the top two prizes at the 2013 Cannes Critics’ Week, Salvo tweaks the conventions of its genre without betraying them and in the grand tradition of Jean-Pierre Melville, wrings blindsiding depths of emotion from the sparest of means. A 2014 New Directors/New Films selection. A Film Movement release.
New Directors/New Films, 2014
Cannes Film Festival, 2013
London Film Festival, 2013
“Nothing turns out as expected in this tense, beautifully acted movie” —Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
“Salvo embraces crime genre tropes and then stretches them into a new shape” —Robert Koehler, Film Comment
“Exquisitely crafted if somewhat academic – an ‘ambient thriller’, if there's such a thing.” —Jonathan Romney, The Guardian