'Italy's Real-Life Sopranos' Gets UK Premiere
A gritty mafia series described as Italy's Sopranos has had its UK premiere.
Every Monday, Sky Atlantic HD airs Gomorrah, which looks inside the Camorra crime organisation in Naples and the spread of its crime-linked tentacles.
Based on the best-selling title by Roberto Saviano, the New York Times described it as "the most important book to come out of Italy in years".
The 12-part series shows life through the eyes of Ciro, the obedient and cocky enforcer of a brutal clan godfather, whose loyalty is stretched to its limits.
The series was shot in and around Naples, Barcelona, Milan and Ferrara, near Bologna.
Acclaimed Italian writer and director Stefano Sollima was responsible for the overall art direction and also directs multiple episodes.
The series is broadcast in the UK using Italian voice tracks and English subtitles.
It has been a huge hit for pay TV group Sky Italia, which was recently purchased by BSkyB, along with Sky Deutschland, from 21st Century Fox.
BSkyB is the parent company of Sky News.
Mr Saviano told The Hollywood Reporter he wanted the series to move beyond cliched portrayals of the mafia by Tinseltown.
"I am trying to act against that, not by glorifying it, but by deconstructing it," he said, adding that he did not want to create characters that attract empathy.
He said: "Gomorrah isn't just a mafia epic, it's a story of how the mechanism of organised crime works - how you buy votes, how you take over a neighbourhood.
"This is how power works in the real world."
He added: "I hope when someone watches Gomorrah they might realise, maybe for the first time, that this is really happening in Europe."
The author, who was initially forced into hiding after publishing the book and later received police protection, said mob members do not lead a glamorous life and are instead "rats in a trap".
:: Gomorrah is screened on Mondays at 9pm on Sky Atlantic HD and is also available On Demand.