|The film is based on the firsthand testimony of special FBI agent Joseph Pistone regarding his undercover work inside American Mafia from 1976 to 1981. Pistone, having a south Italian origin, was the first agent who was able to infiltrate the New York mafia. He reported to the FBI with information such as the structure of the criminal organization, the people involved, codes of speaking, ways of living and locations, which were used in the trials against the New York Mafia that started in 1982 and is still going on.For his undercover role he took up a fake identity as Donnie Brasco, a jewelery thief. During his first years undercover he decided not to use any recorder, transmitter neither to write anything on paper, but to take “mental notes”. Once a week he would orally report these notes to his FBI mentor.
The work by Rossella Biscotti is inspired by the transcript of the first trail against Dominick Napolitano a.k.a. Sonny Black and Benjamin Ruggiero a.k.a. Lefty Guns from 1982. The work aims to show the ambiguities that are behind the Joseph Pistone story, as they are different points of view of the same reality. Pistone has been the main witness in the trials against the American Mafia, his word had to be trusted, most of the times without any other proof.
The film uses the aesthetic and the photography of a classical 1940’s noir movie to recreate a mysterious atmosphere.