“Mamma vita mia” is a documentary film on one of the most influential social phenomena of the past 50 years: the art of tattoo.

A marvellous voyage of introspection through the Naples of legend, through tattoo culture, with the aim of revealing the criminal origins of the phenomenon and the psychological and social direction it has taken.


The film (which takes its title from the most celebrated and widespread tattoo of all: “M.V.M, Mamma Vita Mia, or Mother Life of Mine”) is a contemporary cross-section on the history of this art, from the visual/criminal message of the last century to the social/rehabilitative metamorphosis under way today. Through the stories of some of the most ruthless bandits of the post-war period, the film tells us about the obscure motives which led Naples to become one of the most heavily tattooed cities in the world while, at the same time, showing the evolution of the phenomenon through the eyes of two teenagers.

Based on the idea of the Neapolitan tattoo artists Braian Anastasio, directed by Giuseppe Di Vaio, “Mamma vita mia” is a co-production of “Napoli Photo Project” and “MG Film”, in collaboration with Tattoo Life magazine.

It will be presented for the first time on 2nd June next on the occasion of Etnofilmfest 2018.

Watch the trailer here:

Photos by Bruno Salvemini