The Traitor on Arte: who is Tommaso Buscetta, the man who brought down the mafia? – News…

The Traitor, biopic directed by Marco Bellocchio and broadcast this evening on Arte, looks back on the journey of an emblematic figure of the mafia, Tommaso Buscetta. But who was this man played by Pierfrancesco Favino in the film?

Tommaso Buscetta (pronounced “Boucheta”), also called Don Masino, is a fascinating character who forever marked the history of the fight against the mafia. It is his journey that is told in The traitorthe wonderful feature film by Marco Bellocchioreleased in 2019 and that the Arte channel is broadcasting tonight.

Born in Palermo in 1921, Tommaso is the youngest of a poor family with 17 children. Married very young, Buscetta already has two sons at only 16 years old. He began his career in crime in 1945. He quickly showed his skills and progressed rapidly within the hierarchy of Cosa Nostra, the Sicilian mafia. The man is intelligent, charming, efficient and endowed with natural authority.

Tommaso is a mafioso loyal to Cosa Nostra, but also to his personal principles, not afraid to challenge authority, in which he moreover refuses to take part. From the end of the 1970s to the beginning of the 1980s, he had to face the rise of the Corléonais, led by the implacable Toto Riina.

This new small group is ruthless, and flouts the fundamental principles of Cosa Nostra: they kill women, children and eliminate any obstacle in their path. Tommaso Buscetta no longer finds his place. The criminal then fled to Brazil. On the spot, he was very quickly arrested by the Brazilian justice system and then imprisoned in Italy.

The traitor on arte: who is tommaso buscetta, the man who brought down the mafia? - news...
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Pierfrancesco Favino plays Tommaso Buscetta

In 1980, he managed to escape and returned to Brazil to escape the mafia war. In 1982, when he remarried Cristina, a young Brazilian with whom he has 2 young children, Buscetta was again arrested by the Brazilian police.

Tired, worn out by the executions of his relatives, and especially by the savage murder of his two eldest sons, he tries to commit suicide by poisoning himself. Narrowly saved, he is extradited to Italy. Once back in his country, Tommaso will make a decision that will change his life and that of the mafia. He meets Judge Falcone and will collaborate with justice.

The information given by Buscetta to the Italian authorities is the most important ever provided. For the first time, it is possible to make Cosa Nostra falter. 475 people are arrested, the first “Maxi-Trial of Palermo” takes place. Buscetta is the main witness. By going up to the bar, he takes considerable risks, alienating the whole of Cosa Nostra.

The traitor on arte: who is tommaso buscetta, the man who brought down the mafia? - news...
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Tommaso Buscetta (Pierfrancesco Favino) VS the real Buscetta

Despite the danger, the mafioso keeps his line of conduct: “In the past, the Cosa Nostra had nothing to do with the evil entity it is today. […] I have decided to collaborate with the State to prevent others from believing in the dignity and honor of Cosa Nostra. These values ​​have been buried under a mountain of innocent victims.” The criminal organization killed two of his children, family members, friends. He doesn’t know it yet, but by betraying the Mafia, Buscetta will deal a devastating blow to Cosa Nostra.

At the end of this trial, 360 people will be sentenced. In 1992, Judge Falcone was assassinated. Buscetta then decides to go further and denounce the links between the Mafia and Italian politicians. Don Masino’s revelations implicate powerful men like Giulio Andreotti, a former prime minister, embodied in the cinema by Toni Servillo in the marvelous Il Divo.

To ensure his peace and anonymity, Buscetta underwent cosmetic surgery and returned to Brazil and then to the United States where he ended his life, under witness protection. The gangster’s greatest victory certainly lies in his end. He died of cancer in 2000. After a life shaken by murders and settling scores, he ended his last days in peace.

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