Sicilian Letizia Battaglia began a lifelong battle with the Mafia when she first pointed her camera at a brutally slain victim. A woman whose passions led her to eschew traditional family life and become a photojournalist, she found herself on the frontlines of one of the bloodiest chapters in Italy’s recent history. She fearlessly and artfully captured Sicilian life – from weddings and funerals to the grisly murders of ordinary citizens – to record the experience of the community she loved.
Much-admired documentarian Kim Longinotto adds a vivid portrait to her gallery of empowered and inspiring women. Juxtaposing glimpses of Battaglia’s colourful personal life with her unflinching photographs, archival footage, classic Italian films, and the now 84-year-old’s own memories, she presents a remarkable woman whose bravery helped expose the stark reality of life and death, under the oppressive yoke of the Corleonesi Mafia.
Notes by Sunniva O’Flynn