“Killing Silence”

Published: March 2005

John Michalczyk’s Killing Silence: Taking on the Mafia in Sicily is a documentary film about how—in the aftermath of the 1992 slayings of two Italian prosecutors—citizens of Sicily reclaimed their island from the Mafia, and its codes of honor, family, and silence (omertà). The film shows the rise of the Mafia during the waning days of World War II; the Mafia wars of the 1970s and 1980s; and the anti-Mafia movement of the 1990s. Among those interviewed are the former mayor, and bishop, of Palermo.

Killing Silence premiered at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in November 2004 and is viewable online here for the first time. Also available for viewing is a brief interview with Michalczyk, who is the chair of the fine arts department, codirector of the film studies program, and director of the University’s Jacques Salmanowitz Program for Moral Courage in Documentary Film. He has produced more than a dozen documentary films for PBS television and national and international distribution, and has received three Emmy nominations. He is the author of seven books, including The Resisters, the Rescuers, and the Refugees (Sheed & Ward, 1997) and Italian Political Filmmakers (Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 1986).

This feature was posted on Monday, March 21, 2005 and is filed under Videos.
Writer: Jeanne C. Williams
Producer: Jeff Reynolds