Bete Noir: Made in Canada
Angie, 22 Canadian
It was strange, I had a dream about the Mafia. I never dream about things like that. What does it mean?
Mr Hagen’s Reply; Film Noir in Canada –or- The Mafia in Montreal
I think that your dream is more uncanny than strange. For the most part, the Mafia has been a criminal organization that has not wanted to draw pubic attention to itself. However, as your dream suggests, they are alive and well in many places including Canada. The Mafia in Canada represents the noir side of the Canadian Dream (read IIDR article).
Interestingly, Macleans magazine (October 4, 2010 edition) published an article under the headline, “The Most corrupt Province in Canada”. The article talked to the general political corruption in the Province of Quebec. Last week, the Mafia was in the news (Mafia News Report, November 11, 2010), rearing its ugly head by infighting and a high profile Mafia execution (of Niccolo Rizutto) in Montreal. As for the uncanny part of your dream, I was talking to someone in an elevator last week when the bete noire (nightmare) topic came up. The gist of the conversation was that “you could be sure that the RCMP would be there to put on film everyone attending the funeral.” The Mafia has for the moment come into focus in our collective conversation.
The Mafia achieved cinematic iconic status in popular culture with the Godfather trilogy. The film Goodfellas as well as HBO’s hit TV series The Sopranos speak to the public’s appetite for such stories.
Hope this provides some insight.
Carl Sifakis, The Mafia Encyclopedia. Discusses such topics as the infomant Joseph M. Valachi, Valachi who broke the Cosa Nostra's "code of silence", which then burst into popular culture's imagination via the film The Valachi Papers.