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Sicilian Ghost Story is a 2017 Italian drama film directed by Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza. It is based on the real-life "The White Knight" short story in the We Won't Be Confused Forever volume by Marco Mancassola.[1][2] and was screened in the International Critics' Week section at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.[3][4]

Sicilian Ghost Story
Sicilian Ghost Story.jpg
Film poster
Directed byFabio Grassadonia
Antonio Piazza
Written byFabio Grassadonia
Antonio Piazza
Release date
  • 18 May 2017 (2017-05-18) (Cannes)
  • 18 May 2017 (2017-05-18) (Italy)
Running time
122 minutes



In a little Sicilian village at the edge of a forest, Giuseppe, a boy of 13, vanishes. Luna, his classmate who loves him, refuses to accept his mysterious disappearance. She rebels against the silence and complicity that surround her, and to find him she descends into the dark world which has swallowed him up and which has a lake as its mysterious entrance. Only their indestructible love will be able to bring her back alive.


The film is inspired by true events and takes place in the 1990s in Sicily. It is dedicated to the memory of Giuseppe Di Matteo, abducted in 1996 and then brutally killed on orders of Sicilian Mafia boss Giovanni Brusca in order to silence his father, a cooperating witness.[5][6]


Critical responseEdit

Sicilian Ghost Story opened the 56th International Critics' Week at Cannes Film Festival on 18 May 2017. It was the first time an Italian film opened the Critics' Week, and received a ten minutes standing ovation.

Variety's review was outstandingly positive, stating that “with outstanding cinematography, underwater scenes and magical storytelling, the co-directors found a beautiful and strong way to tell such a tough story based on a true events.”[7]

The Hollywood Reporter described the film as a "Superb technical work transforms cruel reality into a fable with many ramifications," stating that "If Grassadonia and Piazza had simply retold the story, it would have been gripping enough, but they deepen the intensity and widen the meaning by letting the tale unfold in a strange filmic space between cruel reality and ghostly fantasy."[8]

The film holds a 92% approval rating on review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 36 reviews with an average rating of 7.1/10. The site's consensus reads: "Sicilian Ghost Story uses a horrific real-life story as the framework for a powerfully acted foray into surprisingly beguiling fantasy territory."[9]

Sicilian Ghost Story won the David di Donatello for Best Adapted Script.


  1. ^ Astarita, Claudia. "Between fiction and reality: art vs mafia". This is Italy-Panorama. This is Italy-Panorama. Archived from the original on 15 December 2017.
  2. ^ Mancassola, Marco. "Non Saremo Confusi Per Sempre". Marco Mancassola. Marco Mancassola. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  3. ^ "Selection of the 56th International Critics' Week". Semaine de la Critique. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  4. ^ "56th International Critics' Week Press Kit" (PDF). Semaine de la Critique. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  5. ^ Paternò, Cristiana. ""Sicilian Ghost Story": from Sicily to Argentina". Cinecittâ News. Cinecittâ News. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  6. ^ McLaughlin, Katherine. "Thelma LFF film review: "exquisitely crafted depiction of oppression"". Sci-Fi Now. Sci-Fi Now. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  7. ^ Weissberg, Jay (19 May 2017). "Cannes Film Review: 'Sicilian Ghost Story'". Variety. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
  8. ^ "'Sicilian Ghost Story': Film Review | Cannes 2017". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
  9. ^ Sicilian Ghost Story

External linksEdit