The new Italian series produced for Disney+, The Good Mothers, has been selected for competition in the “Berlinale Series” section of the 73th Berlin International Film Festival. The series is also nominated for the Berlinale Series Award, the festival’s first ever prize dedicated to series which debuts this year.
Based on the Foreign Press Association award-winning bestseller of the same title by journalist Alex Perryand adapted for the screen by Stephen Butchard, the production has Julian Jarrold and Elisa Amorusobehind the camera and is produced by House Productions and Wildside - a Fremantle company. The cast includes Gaia Girace as Denise Cosco, Valentina Bellè as Giuseppina Pesce, Barbara Chichiarelli as Anna Colace, Francesco Colella as Carlo Cosco, Simona Distefano as Concetta Cacciola, Andrea Dodero as Carmine and Micaela Ramazzotti as Lea Garofalo.
The series, due to launch imminently on Disney+, recounts the ‘ndrangheta crime organization from the perspective of the women who dared to defy it. It tells the true stories of three women who, having grown up in the most ferocious and richest clans, decide to work with a brave magistrate to destroy the ‘ndrangheta from within. These women have to fight their own families for the right to survive and build a new future for themselves and their children.
Young magistrate Anna Colace decides to attack the ‘ndrangheta by putting pressure on its women, the bosses’ wives and mothers, figures that have always been marginalized, through violence and oppression, within the patriarchal structure of the criminal organization. Anna’s investigation begins with the chilling disappearance of Lea Garofalo, who had given evidence against her husband Carlo Cosco to escape his grasp and start a new life with her daughter Denise. As Anna gradually moves further into the dark world of the ‘ndrangheta, she discovers the powerful stories of Giuseppina Pesce and Concetta Cacciola, two very different women united by the same experience of living in that oppressive, suffocating environment and by the same aim of escaping to give themselves and their children better lives.
The locations where events are set include Palmi, Fiumara and Reggio Calabria, in the area around the Duomo, the Castello Aragonese and lungomare Falcomatà.
Scenes were also shot outside of Calabria: in Rome; Milan - in via Piero della Francesca and via Losanna; in Genoa, in the Voltri neighbourhood and the hamlet of Vesima; and around Rome, in Civitavecchia and the woods of Rocca di Papa, Nemi and Velletri.
The Good Mothers is executive produced by Juliette Howell, Tessa Ross and Harriett Spencer for House Productions and Mario Gianani and Lorenzo Gangarossa for Wildside - a Fremantle company.