Jailbird gets credit for song

ROME — The Italian civil court endorsed the justice-for-all principle last week by siding with Luigi Giuliano, a convicted heavyweight from Neapolitan underworld organization la camorra, in his case against the producers of Antonio Capuano’s controversial feature film “Pianese Nunzio, Fourteen in May.”

The story of an anti-Mafia crusading priest — with a carnal passion for one of the underprivileged boys from his crime- and poverty-stricken parish — touched nerves with the Vatican and the establishment press when it was released nationally last fall after premiering at the Venice Film Festival. The film has since been playing the international fest circuit.

But Giuliano’s gripe had nothing to do with the pic’s bruising portrait of his associates in crime. The Mobster, currently in prison, filed a complaint against producers Istituto Luce, AMA Film and GMF for the uncredited use of a song on the film’s soundtrack for which he wrote the lyrics. The music was written by Neapolitan singer Ciro Ricci.

While the court awarded no financial compensation to Giuliano, it ordered the producers to place notices in three major national publications crediting him with composition of the song. Giuliano intends to takes the matter further, and has indicated that any financial reward he obtains will be donated to Amnesty International.

In the meantime, he continues to pen poetry and love songs in prison. Ricci hopes to set the compositions to music and continue their collaboration following Giuliano’s release.

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