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film > Il giorno della civetta (MAFIA)



film > Il giorno della civetta (MAFIA)

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Leonardo Sciascia, the Italian Cultural Institutes of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, DC have the pleasure to offer a screening of Il giorno della civetta (Mafia), a film directed by Damiano Damiani, featuring Claudia Cardinale, Franco Nero, Lee J. Cobb and Serge Reggiani. With an introction by Valerio Cappozzo.

The movie is an adaptation of one of Leonardo Sciascia’s most famous novels by the same title. The film won the David di Donatello Award for Best Production, Best Actress (Cardinale) and Best Actor (Nero) in 1968.

Directed by Damiano Damiani
Italy/France, 1968 - duration 112 minutes
Language: Italian with English subtitles


(Streaming available December 17-19)


PLEASE NOTE: Streaming is available between 7:30 AM (PT) on December 17th and 7:30 PM (PT) on December 19th for up to 1,000 users (capacity). After unlocking the film, you have 24hrs to start viewing, and from the time you begin watching, an additional 24hrs to complete it. All streaming will end at 10:30PM (ET) on December 19th, so, please plan the time you start watching accordingly.

Content available ONLY in the United States


claudia cardinale



In Sicily a truck driver is murdered while delivering a truck of concrete to a highway construction project. The murder takes place within sight and earshot of the house of Rosa (Cardinale) and Paolo Nicolosi, her husband. Throughout the investigation, Captain Bellodi (Nero) realizes he must fight corrupt officials to solve the case.



Il giorno della civetta (The Day of the Owl) is a crime novel about the Sicilian Mafia by Leonardo Sciascia, finished in 1960 and published in 1961.

As the author wrote in the preface of the 1972 Italian edition, the novel was written at a time in which the existence of the Mafia itself was debatable and often denied. With its publication, a widespread debate and renewed awareness of the phenomenon started.

The novel was inspired by the assassination in Sciacca of Accursio Miraglia, a communist trade unionist (January 1947). Damiano Damiani directed the movie adaptation in 1968.



Leonardo Sciascia (1921-1989) was born in Racalmuto, Sicily. He was an Italian writer, novelist, essayist, playwright, and politician. Some of his works have been adapted into films, including Porte Aperte (1990, Open Doors), Cadaveri Eccellenti (1976, Illustrious Corpses), Todo Modo (also 1976) and Il giorno della civetta (1968).

In 1935, his family moved to Caltanissetta, where Sciascia studied under Vitaliano Brancati, who would later become the writer he aspired to and who introduced him to French novelists. Sciascia's first work, Favole della dittatura (Fables of the Dictatorship), a satire on fascism in Italy, was published in 1950. This was followed by La Sicilia, il suo cuore (Sicily, its Heart), his first and only poetry collection in 1952. The following year Sciascia won the Pirandello Award (Sicily Region) for his essay Pirandello e il pirandellismo (Pirandello and Pirandellism).

In 1961, after one year in Rome, Sciascia moved back to Caltanissetta, Sicily, where he published the mysterynovel Il giorno della civetta (The Day of the Owl), one of his most famous novels, and in 1963, the historical novel Il consiglio d'Egitto (The Council of Egypt).

In 1969, he began a collaboration with the daily newspaper, Il Corriere della Sera. At the 1975 communal elections in Palermo, Sciascia ran as an independent within the Italian Communist Party (PCI) slate and was elected to the city council. In the same year, he published La scomparsa di Majorana (The Disappearance of Majorana), about the mysterious disappearance of scientist Ettore Majorana. Sciascia's last works include the essay collection Cronachette (1985), the novels Porte aperte (1987, Open Doors) and Il cavaliere e la morte (1988, The Horseman and Death). He died in June 1989 in Palermo.



Damiano Damiani (1922-2013) was born in Pasiano di Pordenone, Friuli. He studied at the Accademia di Brera in Milan, then made his début with the documentary La banda d’affari in 1947. After a few years as a screenwriter, he directed his first feature film, Il rossetto, in 1960.

Before his career as a big screenwriter, Damiani was first a comic cartoonist in association with the "Group of Venice.” Focused on the comic Asso di Picche (1945–49), the comic featured a masked vigilante who fight crime all over the globe and is in charge of the crime stopping organization, the "Band of Panthers".

His 1962 film, Arturo's Island, won the Golden Shell at the San Sebastián International Film Festival. The 60s was Damiani's "golden decade”. He was praised by critics and his films were a success.

In 1966, he directed A Bullet for the General, one of the first political "Spaghetti Westerns”. In 1968, with Il giorno della civetta, he started a series of films in which there was connection between politics and crime. His 1971 film Confessions of a Police Captain won the Golden Prize at the 7th Moscow International Film Festival.

In 1973, Damiani débuted as an actor, playing Giovanni Amendola in Florestano Vancini's The Matteotti Murder. He was known to cult horror film fans for directing Amityville II: The Possession in 1982 for Dino de Laurentiis.

In 1984, he also directed one of the most famous Italian television series, La piovra, a depiction of the contemporary Italian Mafia and its involvement in politics. His last feature film was Assassini dei giorni di festa, directed in 2002.



Valerio Cappozzo is Associate Professor and Director of the Italian Program at the University of Mississippi, co-Editor-in-Chief of Annali d’Italianistica, member of the MLA Forum Executive Committee (LLC Medieval and Renaissance Italian), member of the Executive Committee of the Comitato Nazionale Leonardo Sciascia, member of the Scientific Committee of the Fondazione Giorgio Bassani, and Vice-president of the American Boccaccio Association. With a specialization in literary criticism and material philology, he works primarily on the manuscript transmission of manuals for the interpretation of dreams during the Middle Ages, with particular reference to Dante and early Italian literature. His monograph, Dizionario dei sogni nel Medioevo. Il Somniale Danielis in manoscritti letterari has been published in 2018 by Leo S. Olschki in Florence.


Date: Da Friday, December 17, 2021 a Sunday, December 19, 2021

Organized by : IIC Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington

Entrance : Free