In the generally appalling panorama of Italian TV, there's a show almost confusing in its grace: it's Fabio Fazio's "Che Tempo Che Fa" on RaiTre, that manages to achieve the impossible -- long interviews in prime time with novelists, architects, poets, journalists, stage directors, violinists... And last night, "Che Tempo Che Fa" broadcasted a special show with Roberto Saviano, author of "Gomorrah", 4 million copies -- yes, four -- already sold worldwide, a young man who has been sentenced to death by the very organized crime kingpins he denounced in his extraordinary book (US link here, UK link here) and has to live in a neverending series of safe houses under strict 24/7 maximum security protection ever since (Saviano's friend Salman Rushdie has called Roberto's situation a fatwa more dangerous than the one he's been subjected to by the late Ayatollah Khomeini).
It's been what Opera Chic can safely describe as one of the most incredible things she has ever seen on television -- a lecture on organized crime and the media that became almost a one-act play, an elegantly chilling monologue about fear and the power of language. Followed by a short, chilling documentary shot in the camorra's own neighborhoods, in the South of Italy. Then, a dialogue with host Fabio Fazio and a conversation between young Saviano and novelists David Grossman and Paul Auster (who had both been guests of Fazio's show in the past).
RAI television, very often a most maddening media corporation almost as efficient as the Italian postal service, ran this very special show in prime time and has now made it available on its YouTube channel; and Opera Chic, because it's right, and because it's the least she can do to celebrate Saviano's bravery, is proud to link the videos here. The show's in Italian, obviously: it'd be a very honorable thing if foreign TV networks bought this unique show and re-broadcast it, with subtitles, for their audience. Whether or not you've read the book -- or watched the film, whose DVD's out in the Uk already -- Saviano's monologue is a must-see.