Briganti aka Brigands: The Quest for Gold is an Italian series on Netflix that revolves around a woman who has to leave her village and join a group of brigands after the unification of Italy. Soon she realizes that there are more women like her who have to fight in groups, with other brigands, and with the state for the rights and upliftment of peasants. The series is being appreciated for its gripping narrative and realistic portrayal of events, which also makes one wonder if Brigands: The Quest for Gold is a true story. Well, here is all you need to know about the same.

Is Brigands: The Quest for Gold a True Story?

Brigands: The Quest for Gold is a fictional story set against a real drop. While the events in the film have been fictionalized, brigandage was actually on the rise in Southern Italy soon after the unification of the country in the 19th century. At the time, many women joined the Brigands, as seen in the series. At the time, chaos began in Sicily after it moved away from feudalism in 1812. Without strong government control, banditry became a big problem in the region.

Brigands true story

Poor folks faced tough times with food prices going up and their rights being snatched from them. With no official law enforcement, rich people formed groups called “companies-at-arms” to hunt down thieves. These groups often included ex-criminals, who sometimes colluded with their old pals to make money. Following the conquest of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies in 1861 by the Savoyard Kingdom of Sardinia, a significant wave of brigandage emerged, particularly in regions like Basilicata, Campania, Calabria, and Abruzzo.

These brigands came from diverse backgrounds, including former prisoners, soldiers, loyalists of the Bourbon army, nobles, impoverished farmers, and even women. Their actions were marked by attacks not only against authorities and landowners but also against common people, resulting in looting, robbery, arson, murder, rape, kidnapping, extortion, and crop destruction. The Italian government responded with a heavy-handed crackdown, enacting laws allowing for the arrest of anyone suspected of harboring brigands.

Massacres and reprisals ensued, with thousands of brigands arrested, executed, deported, or forced into exile. The conflict reached a climax in the Palermo revolt of 1866, which was suppressed with the help of some 40,000 soldiers. Even though some people think the brigands were fighting against Italy or the new king, there isn’t much proof of that. After a while, things calmed down, and some people from Southern Italy even got important jobs in the government. And when Italy became a republic in 1946, a significant population in the south still wanted the old king back. However, brigandary did not go away completely till mid 20th century, with Salvatore Giuliano and Gaspare Pisciotta forming groups of brigands and being labeled as local heroes.

Also Read: Filming Locations of Brigands: The Quest for Gold


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