The Sicilian Girl 6:30 p.m. on Monday, April 19; also on Tuesday, April 20 at 8:30 p.m. Both showings at Avalon Theatre.

If you think that standing up to the Mafia is a suicidal endeavor—well, The Sicilian Girl won’t exactly convince you otherwise. But the film does offer a thrilling and nail-biting portrayal of what someone who was born into the thug life can do when she decides to speak out about those who’ve wronged her family. Rita Atria (Veronica D’Agostino) wants immediate revenge when, still a young girl, she sees her father murdered. Her older brother explains that they need to plan and be patient in their vengeance against a rival mob boss; when her brother later turns up dead, too, the fiery and defiant Rita is no longer willing to play the game. And although finally going to the cops is cathartic, naturally it also puts the now-17-year-old in danger. The Sicilian Girl is based on a true story, one that writer-director Marco Amenta previously told in his 1997 documentary about Rita. This fictionalization romanticizes some details and, despite its excellent execution—particularly D’Agostino’s passionate performance—it may leave you wishing you’d just caught the doc instead. Either way, the melodrama that was Rita’s life is a fascinating watch.

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