Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Modern-day gangsters don’t have blood on their hands, they’re corporate high-fliers

business crime corruption globalism family

I have always loved gangster films for the way they allow filmmakers to explore the human condition at its most extreme and yet familiar. My favourite characters in these films and TV shows are the ones who most resemble us. Michael Corleone and Tony Soprano may run criminal empires, but 90 per cent of the time they’re looking after their families and taking their kids to school. Their similarities to us are just as engaging as their differences and it’s this contrast that we’ve tried to explore in McMafia.

The eight-part drama stars James Norton as a City of London financier who is trying to distance himself from his family’s criminal past. It’s as much about family relationships as it is about criminality – and our antiheroes are no longer the colourful gangsters of old, but much closer to us than we think.

Misha Glenny’s brilliant book McMafia provided my co-creator, James Watkins, and me with extraordinary insights into how these new criminal enterprises work. Modern criminals aren’t just thuggish mobsters, they can be bankers, politicians, lawyers, intelligence agents. They don’t just deal cocaine and heroin, they profit from people-smuggling, computer hacking, money laundering and property scams. Lines have become blurred and the boundaries between the overworld and underworld are more fluid than ever. The release of the Panama and Paradise papers, the Trump Russia allegations, even the accusations of corruption at Fifa, football’s governing body, are all examples of the new criminality.  (more...)

It's been an entertaining ride:

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