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Film / Sicilian Ghost Story

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Sicilian Ghost Story is a 2017 Italian/French/Swiss film directed by Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza.

It is based on the true story of the kidnapping and murder of Giuseppe Di Matteo perpetrated by the Mafia.

The film revolves around a (fictional) girl Giuseppe's age, Luna, who has a crush on him and becomes determined to do something herself about his disappearance, against the compliance and secrecy of the Sicilian society she lives in.


  • Apathetic Citizens: The majority of Sicilians choose not to get involved out of fear of retaliation, much to Luna's fury, because it's her friend and crush and thus she doesn't want to conform.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Giuseppe asks one of his kidnappers if he has children. The kidnapper leaves him unshackled in lieu of an answer.
  • Bungled Suicide: Sensing Giuseppe's death, Luna tries to kill herself by eating rat poison. The supernatural, including Giuseppe's ghost, intervenes by warning her best friend Loredana of what's happening and Luna's saved in time.
  • Death of a Child: Famously ruthless criminals keeping a child captive, killing him and dissolving his corpse in acid when they don't get their way.
  • Distressed Dude: Giuseppe is held captive. Luna tries everything she's realistically capable of to save him. To no effect, of course.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Those who knew beforehand of Giuseppe Di Matteo's story already know that he won't make it.
  • Hollywood Acid: After getting strangled to death, Giuseppe's corpse is dissolved in a vat of nitric acid just offscreen.
  • Hope Spot: An extended sequence where Luna finds where Giuseppe is being kept and rescues him turns out to be a fantasy (this becomes obvious when he's shown with the bright, clean face he had before the kidnapping; at this point in reality, he's a wretch).
  • The Mafia: The Sicilian mafia are the villains who kidnap Giuseppe. They do so to threaten his father, a pentito, into silence.
  • Shout-Out: Luna hangs on to Giuseppe's figure of Son Goku in Super Saiyan Blue mode (which is weird because the film is supposed to be set in the mid-90s, long before Dragon Ball Super aired).
  • The Stool Pigeon: Giuseppe's father is a pentito, a former mafia member who was arrested and agreed to cooperate with authorities. They retaliate by holding Giuseppe hostage to threaten him. A classmate of Luna's sniggers that that's just what a traitor's son deserves, which makes her furious to the point of beating him.