After resolving some technical issues – which always seem to plague us! – we started the showing of I Cento Passi, translated into English as the One Hundred Steps. But what are these one hundred steps, and what do they have to do with this film?
I Cento Passi recounts the story of Giuseppe “Peppino” Impastato, a young man who fights to reduce the impact of the local mafia organization in his town; Cinisi, a small province close to Palermo, one of the biggest cities in Sicily. Peppino actually lives only one hundred steps from the resident mafia boss. Showcasing just how ingrained the mafia are in Peppino’s life.
Peppino grew up in a family with close mafia ties, however after a relative is assassinated when he is only 15, Peppino dedicates himself to stopping the mafia’s influence. As mentioned prior, his family has close mafia ties, so this battle is as much against his family as the mafia.
After joining the local communist party, Peppino starts to grow more fervent in his rebellion, even starting demonstrations in front of the mayor’s office. Eventually Peppino’s passion grew even too much for the communist party, and the two parted ways. At this point, Peppino has been kicked out of his own home, but he does not let that stop him. Instead, Peppino starts a radio program dedicated to belittling the local Mafiosi. Peppino’s voice and talent for radio draws a large audience in the surrounding area, and even the local mafia take notice (much to the chagrin of his father).
The radio show starts to hit too close to home for the Mafiosi and they try to shut it down through Peppino’s father. During this confrontation his father tells Peppino that without him, he would already have been killed. Of course, Peppino will not stop!
Unfortunately Peppino’s father dies (some say murdered by the mafia), and the capo of the mafia approaches Peppino to provide him one last chance to stop. As always, Peppino will not stray from his mission and continues, even starting a campaign for a local position.
One night, Peppino is kidnapped and murdered by the mafia. Incidentally, Peppino won that position he was campaigning for! The police deem his death a suicide, and this ruling lasts for decades, until it is overturned and his killers are ultimately brought to justice.
After finishing the film, we all discussed the film. Some believed Peppino should have just stayed quiet and led his life, rather than trying to kick the hornet’s nest. Others believed he did the right thing. We asked the audience some other questions regarding the mafia and Italian organized crime, and it brought about lively discussion amongst us all.
Thank you to everyone who came to the movie, we had a wonderful time!