One Hundred Steps (2000) tells the shocking story of Peppino Impastato (Luigi Lo Cascio), a young left-wing activist who vocally opposed the mafia in the 1970s and paid a brutal price. This was an era when almost nobody dared to speak about the mafia in Sicily, and several politicians maintained that it did not even exist. Impastato repeatedly denounced local mob boss Tano Badalamenti’s (Tony Sperandeo) criminal activities and the whole mafia system by broadcasting his ironically funny political pronouncements over a small local radio station. His passionate diatribes earn him a loyal audience, as well as the growing ire of the mob, whose irritation grown into violent retribution. Nominated at the 2001 Golden Globes for Best Foreign Film.
For thoughts on One Hundred Steps, please check out our discussion on The Video Attic:
One Hundred Steps comes to Blu-Ray with a new digital AVC encoded 1080p transfer that is not noted as being from a new master, but it delivers a mostly impressive time all the same. While not without some brief flaws, the transfer looks really excellent throughout most of the runtime. There are occasional minor specks of damage that do not really bother since overall clarity and detail is so impressive. The shots inside various interiors are packed with little details in the production design that are easily noticeable thanks to this transfer.
Black levels hold up quite well with strong details in the shadow and very little in the way of crush. Digital noise is mostly avoided throughout, but you may catch it in a few moments. There can be a slight loss in fine detail in some of the more active shots, but this does not register as a persistent issue. Colors are decently saturated in a way that makes the locations really pop. Skin tones are natural and consistent with distinct facial features easily noticeable in closeup. This new presentation is fetching and likely looks better than it ever has before. Raro Video has done a fantastic job with this one.
The Blu-Ray disc comes with a very capable DTS-HD 2.0 Master Audio track in the original Italian with optional English subtitles. The dialogue is the main focus here as it stays firmly planted in the mix without being overwhelmed by competing elements. The track maintains a strong balance with all competing sounds so that dialogue comes through clearly. The score sounds very pleasant throughout the duration of the film, as it immerses you into the emotions of the narrative. Environmental sounds such as car noises are rendered well alongside everything else. There does not seem to be any major instances of age-related wear and tear. This audio presentation offers a good representation of the film.
- Audio Commentary: Writer and actor Andrea Purgatori provides a fairly engaging and informative commentary track which focuses almost entirely on giving additional context to the narrative as it plays out with insights into what the characters are thinking/feeling/experiencing and how it relates to their place in history. This is worth a listen if you enjoyed the film.
One Hundred Steps is a unique, more personal take on the Italian crime drama than we typically get. While they are often portrayed as titanic figures within the community, this particular film adds a layer of intrigue with these criminals being somewhat disarming, just your neighbor across the street. This is not so simple for our protagonist or the citizens of the town, as the reign of terror is no less real. The slow creep of consequences leaves a mark by the end, and the movie proves to be one you won’t forget so soon. Raro Video and Kino Classics have delivered a Blu-Ray with a good A/V presentation and an insightful commentary. If you want a different take on the mafia, give this one a chance. Recommended
One Hundred Steps is currently available to purchase on Blu-Ray and Digital.
Note: Images presented in this review are not reflective of the image quality of the Blu-Ray.
Disclaimer: Raro Video and Kino Lorber have supplied a copy of this disc free of charge for review purposes. All opinions in this review are the honest reactions of the author.
Dillon is most comfortable sitting around in a theatre all day watching both big budget and independent movies.