Goncharov – real or a hoax?

Fact or fiction? Lee Lim

Goncharov is filled with depth, from characters to plot

Have you ever seen Goncharov, the 1973 Martin Scorsese classic? That movie about the Naples Mafia starring Robert De Niro, Gene Hackman, Harvey Keitel, Cybill Shepherd, and Al Pacino? It’s listed alongside other Scorsese mafia films like The Irishman and Goodfellas.

Well, if you’re confused about this movie you’ve never heard of but that seems to have a star-studded cast and a huge director attached to it, don’t feel bad – it’s not actually real. But you’d never know if you’ve visited Tumblr lately, where the movie is everything but fake.

The supposed plot of Goncharov follows Goncharov himself. He used to be part of the Russian mafia, but now he lives in Naples with Katya, his wife. While living in Naples with Katya, Goncharov meets Andrey Daddano, also known as ‘The Banker.’ Daddano acts as Goncharov’s rival and, potentially, his love interest. On the other side, Katya meets a girl named Sofia. The pair become close friends and, maybe, something just a little bit more. There’s also Al Pacino’s character, Mario Ambrosini, a man who gambles a bit too much, and Gene Hackman’s character, Valery Michailov, Katya’s brother.

The movie deals with themes of identity as Goncharov struggles between the safety of Naples and the strength he found in the mafia. Goncharov and Katya struggle to keep their identity while living in Naples. It also deals with ideas of time, as the characters often cheat death and lose time to other characters. It’s exemplified by items like Goncharov’s pocket watch.

There’s a plot written out, scene after scene with events, themes, and locations of each one. There’s a detailed movie poster, a theme song with available sheet music, and even a trailer. There’s everything to convince you that this movie is entirely real, even though it’s not.

The idea of Goncharov started years ago. Tumblr user zootycoon posted an image of a shoe. The image showed the tag on a pair of boots that read “The Greatest Mafia Movie Ever Made. Martin Scorsese Presents Goncharov. Domenico Proccacci Production. A film by Matteo JWHJ0715. About the Naples Mafia.”

The user captioned the image “I got these knockoff boots online and instead of the brand name on the tag they have the name of an apparently nonexistent Martin Scorsese movie?? [sic] what the fuck.” Tumblr user abandonedambition responded to this image stating: “this idiot hasn’t seen goncharov.”

On August 21, 2020, the image was shared again with abandonedambition’s comment, which sparked Tumblr user beelzeebub to make the fake poster, which kickstarted the internet’s creation of what we now know as Goncharov.

People have suggested Goncharov originated from a misspelling of the movie Gomorrah,which was released in 2008 and was directed by Matteo Garrone. Martin Scorsese was mentioned for promotions of Gomorrah.

The new additions to the Goncharov canon are growing by the day. Things such as more music, drawings of scenes and characters, more posters, and even a video game; not to mention the Goncharov tag on Archive of Our Own. For those who don’t know, Archive of Our Own, or AO3, is a popular fanfiction website. As of writing this article, there are 305 fanfics about Goncharov. The most popular pairing being Goncharov and Andrey Daddano, followed by Goncharov and Katya.

And before you ask, yes, Martin Scorsese has heard of Goncharov, and he’s in on the joke. When his daughter asked him about the film, he responded with “Yes. I made that film years ago.”

Maybe one day we’ll get the real Goncharov and we’ll be able to see the passing of time through his gold pocket watch on the big screen.


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